Lesbians on average earn less than gay or straight men but more than heterosexual women. However, that doesn’t take into account the discrimination faced by certain lesbians, especially those who are gender-nonconforming, nor does the statistic reflect race or ethnicity.

“There is definitely a penalty and loss of earnings” for various groups of LGBTQ women, Mason says. But there has not been a lot of attention paid to why.

“It’s not random,” she says. “It’s because of sexual orientation and gender identity.” And women of color are hit harder, she says.

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