Being gay is not easy! Keeping up with the gay Joneses is even harder. We as a society are always comparing ourselves to other people. We want a fancier car. We want a bigger house. We want to travel to exotic destinations. We want to wear designer clothes. And of course, we want to post photos of our new shiny things or travels on social media for the rest of the gay world to see. And why? So everyone can think our lives are as perfect as theirs.
Frugal and gay is almost an oxymoron in today's society. If you do not partake in fancy dinners, or wear designer clothes, or drive a nice car, you are almost banished from gay society. It's unfortunate but the truth in our egotistical world.
Growing up, I used to own every designer under the sun. My closet was filled with Versace, Armani, Gucci, Prada. You name it, I owned it. And the more I associated myself with people who could 'afford' these types of luxuries, the more I needed them for myself. When I lived in Orlando, I was blessed to know a wonderful group of people who were able to afford these items. High-profile business leaders in the community. The problem was, I felt like I needed to own these items for these people to like me. So, I spent almost every free moment I had shopping - or hanging out - in Orlando's swankiest mall and accruing a bunch of stuff I didn't need. Why? Just to fit in.
What I didn't realize was that I was NOT being judged by my friends for not having as much as they did. They liked me for who I was, not the person I was pretending to be. And I wasn't even gay at the time - well, I was, but I didn't realize it yet.
These cultural pressures are magnified by 10 when you enter the gay world. As much as we hate to admit it. We do judge others for the way the look, what they wear, what they drive, where they live and how many abs they have. It's an unfortunately, yet realistic truth that everyone admits is an issue, but we as a culture can't seem to resolve. It was like this before I was born and it will probably be the same long after I'm dead.
It wasn't until I reached the age of 30 when I realized I don't really give a damn what people think of me...or my things. My Italian designer addiction turned into a Target addiction. Yes, that's right, I wear clothes from Target. And many times, I wear clothes I find in the clearance section. Take away my gay card now!
I made many other lifestyle changes in the past few years which helped me not only grow as a person, but also helped my bank account grow. It's a wonderful feeling to know that if something happened tomorrow - you lose your job, you need a car repair, etc - that you don't have to stress about it as much.
My goal is to inform you and educate you about living a frugal lifestyle, and most importantly, not care what others think about your lifestyle. I need to warn you, it will be difficult at times, but we will make the fabulous journey together!
*Photo by Joshua Busby Photography