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Every time I send an email newsletter or beta test a new offer, it feels like I’m coming out of the closet again. It’s been over 15 years since I came out, but I can recall the vivid body response like it was yesterday: Pit in the stomach, clammy hands and a tidal wave of irrational mind trash.
I feel the fear and do it anyway. What I’ve realized over the years is that being gay is one of my most powerful weapons as an entrepreneur. It gives me the courage to confront fear, dream big and turn vision into reality. More importantly, putting our successes out there as queer people sets an example for the next generation that life gets better.
According to research aggregated by The Trevor Project, LGB youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth, and 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt.
And when we review data from the Williams Institute at UCLA, the numbers show that queer people as a whole experience higher levels of unemployment, lack of insurance, food insecurity and annual incomes under $24,000. It’s a sharp contrast to the usual media depiction of queer life as glitzy, glamorous and without hardship.