Lets face it, being gay is expensive! Gays are active, mobile, on the go, always in front of the latest trend or newest pop culture sensation. We always have a drag brunch to get to, a birthday party to attend or a “Hey It’s Wednesday the work week is half over” party! Teaching in the public school system for 15+ years, I have always been on the “poorer” end of the spectrum out of my group of friends. In recent years its gone from bad to GAY POOR!

FREE EVENT: walking on the beach

From 2005 to 2011 I was living, working, and went to Graduate School in South Florida. I taught middle and high school for the Miami-Dade County Public School System. I was barely making $45,000, and that was only because I coached two teams and moderated a few student activity groups earning stipends. However, the cost of living was so low I never really felt GAY POOR!  During my years there, I lived in three gorgeous large apartments, all with balconies, all with pools. One apartment complex even had two pools, plus a sandwich shop and liquor store. We lovingly called it “the compound” and wouldn’t leave the grounds some weekends!

Moving back home to NYC things were VERY different, financially speaking.  Even though my salary more than doubled it seemed money disappeared much quicker once I became a Brooklynite! #Williamsburgrepresent

FREE EVENT: Coney Island Mermaid Parade

Everything costs more in NYC. When using my debit card the Thursday before a Friday payday, I would hold my breath swiping it through the machine hoping against hope it would say “APPROVED!” I think only one time it got declined. No sour patch kids and US Weeks magazine for Robby that day!  And trying to amass a rainy day fund or savings account – nearly impossible.

A few years ago I made a somewhat bold, somewhat risky decision to leave the NYCDOE with the intention of kick-starting a writing career.  Here I am years later standing before you GAY POOR!

If I thought living in Williamsburg on a public school teachers salary was hard, I was not prepared at all for the realities of living in Williamsburg on a part time substitute teachers slash English lit tutors slash freelance writers slash bloggers salary! That is the very definition of gay poor!

Yes, Gay poor can be considered a “first world problem,” I make enough to cover rent, utilities and basic gay life needs. I know I am better off than a vast majority of people on this planet but for the purpose of this post please allow me to vent about being GAY POOR!

FREE EVENT: Book reading with gay icon and one of my heroes Armistead Maupin

GAY POOR means no $3,000 summer share on Fire Island.

GAY POOR means no yearly vacations to a different beautiful exotic location. Each year the location changes but weirdly all the gays know beforehand where to go! Past locations included Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Mykonos, Sydney and Puerto Vallarta.

GAY POOR means no pricey skin/face/eye cream lotions from Kiehls. Target store brand works just fine (its actually pretty good! #welovetarget)

GAY POOR means no trips “to the dentist” every six months to smooth out those lines that start appearing on our faces once we hit 40.

GAY POOR means cutting old jeans into super cute shorts.  Add them to your closet instead of buying ALL new ones every Spring.

GAY POOR means doing your laundry at the laundromat instead of sending it out to be done.

GAY POOR means drinking vodka sodas at the bar and not Titos and soda. {hell yes we are still going out we are Gay Poor we are not nuns!}

GAY POOR means going out shirtless dancing in the clubs once a month, not once every weekend. {Maybe we can chalk this one up to getting older!}

GAY POOR means taking the subway home from Hells Kitchen at 2am after a fun night with friends, not an Uber.  {dont worry about my safety, L train is hella crowded at that time, cant even get a seat!}

Looking forward to the day I am a successful, HIGHLY PAID writer so I can look back fondly on these leaner days and be all like “Not Today Satan!” For today, its fine and lets face it — it can always be worse!  Who is ready for a trip to Target? Robby needs some face cream 🙂

FREE: Carrying your own Christmas tree home

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