LGBT Community - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender
"Let's be authentic and share our stories, this way we will build lifetime, trusting relationships. As a group, LGBT people require more than tolerance - we need acceptance."
Laura and her wife, Susan Hunt, live in a small rural community 70 miles north of Atlanta. When Laura first established her practice, it was her hospice volunteer work with families facing end-of-life issues that enabled her to quickly build trust among her new neighbors. "Eight of my clients have passed away, and I have had the privilege of helping their spouses and families during those difficult times. Very often, they are overwhelmed and desperately need someone who understands what to do."
Laura never attempted to conceal her sexual orientation, but she was not surprised to find that some clients who were new to her practice were uncomfortable with that part of her identity. "I would hope they get to know who I am as a person, not a label. Because I do not want anyone as a client who cannot fully trust me."
She has found that financial guidance for the elderly has a special importance within the LGBT community. "In some cases, my older LGBT clients have been rejected by their families," she said. "Several of my clients have had difficulty finding a welcoming elder care facility, where they can find acceptance and support. Or they discover that hospitals do not always recognize their partners as family."
Laura has successfully advocated for many clients. "Managing money is the easy part of this profession," she said. "Helping people feel fully heard, and guiding them through sensitive, personal financial issues is the real work. "
She offers this advice to financial advisors who hope to build a deeper understanding with their LGBT clients: "Be authentic with them, and they will be more willing to be authentic - to share their story - with you. For lifetime trusting relationships, people require more than just tolerance. We need acceptance."
As a Volunteer Education Ambassador for
the National Resource Center (NRC),
I can provide free presentations to your group or
organization to help you understand how to
support LGBT older adults.