Business » Finance

Forbes: Only 7 of the World’s Billionaires are Gay

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Mar 11, 2014
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PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel
PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel  (Source:AP Photo)

Gains in riches have increased among women and people across the world, but according to the recent Forbes Billionaires List, only seven of the world’s 1,645 billionaires are openly gay, and five of those are American.

Forbes reports that the select group of LGBTs with ten-figure fortunes include media mogul David Geffen, PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, and Hyatt hotel beneficiary Jennifer Pritzker -- one of the Pritzker family’s 11 billionaires.

Forbes reports that in August 2013, Pritzker became the first and only transgender billionaire when she announced she would now live as a woman. The former Army lieutenant colonel is CEO of Chicago private wealth management firm Tawani Enterprises, and has a personal net worth of $1.8 billion.

"This change will reflect the beliefs of her true identity that she has held privately and will now share publicly. Pritzker now identifies herself as a woman for all business and personal undertakings," read an email statement reported in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Others on the list include the hyper-wealthy duo behind the fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, plus new billionaire Michael Kors.

Despite the small numbers of our billionaires (it is estimated that 19 of America’s 492 billionaires should statistically identify as LGBT), those with the big bucks are not hesitating to spread their wealth where it is most needed.

Forbes reports that Jon Stryker of the Stryker Corp. medical equipment family fortune is one of the world’s most prolific donors to LGBT charities, and almost-billionaire lesbian Laura Rickets of the Chicago Cubs fortune helped form the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition.

And while some Richie Riches with gay kids have donated to LGBT causes -- like hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, who gave more than $10M to support marriage equality so his gay son Andrew could tie the knot -- others have used their fortune to try and keep their kids in line.

It was reported that, Hong Kong businessman Cecil Chao offered $130M to any man who could successfully seduce and marry his daughter, Gigi. The only problem is that she already married her lesbian partner in 2012.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

Comments

  • Daniel Cooley, 2014-03-13 14:58:30

    So 19/492 = 4% is the estimated percentage of gays in the US now. Where did that come from?


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