If anyone exudes the confidence and panache that comes from being comfortable in your own skin, it is Suze Orman. Money and media mogul, she has helped millions of women take control of their finances through her bestselling books, magazine articles, and television specials. Believing “People First, Then Money, Then Things” she was one of the first financial folks to delve into the emotional reasons behind why people spend long before “emotional spending” became the media buzzword of the day. All that, and now, the New York Times reports that Suze has finally spilled the beans and reveals that her life partner is Kathy Travis. In true Suze fashion she jests in the article “We’re going on seven years. I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin.”
Back when I was in my 20’s and still relatively clueless about having to run a household with my own money, I discovered her book “9 Steps to Financial Freedom” and “The Courage to Be Rich”. While I was fairly good with my money it was a fine wakeup call to totally nix whatever small amounts of debt I had. It also opened my eyes to a variety of practical considerations I never even considered. It even helped my partner and I tackle her sizable debt with efficiency and confidence. Now that Suze’s out of the closet, I know I speak for myself and the whole team at Queercents that it would be wild if she were to write a book on the unique financial challenges of GLBT couples. Goodness she knows about it firsthand:
”Both of us have millions of dollars in our name,” she told The New York Times Magazine in its Feb. 25 edition. ”It’s killing me that upon death, K.T. is going to lose 50 percent of everything I have to estate taxes. Or vice versa.”
Whether you have millions or are just making ends meet, if you’re a lesbian couple you are swimming upstream when it comes to the laws of finances and the “unmarried” couple. Suze knows about both scenarios. If you read her story on her website, you’ll soon learn that she had plenty of tough times both financially and as a young woman forming beliefs of what was to be possible for her life. Told she’d never succeed or amount to much she surely proved those early naysayers wrong and made her early supporters proud.
I for one am thrilled to read this news and what I like most about it is that there is no fanfare, activism or “scandal”. In her usual straightforward style Suze just tells it like it is. Whether you love or hate her perky, sometimes preachy style, you have to admit that she always puts her uniqueness front and center and stands proud in who she is. All women, gay and straight, can learn a lot from how she shows up in the world. And for all of us the courage to be truly rich in our lives starts with the courage to be our true selves. Thank you Suze for your honesty and courage! And, hey – the readers here at Coaching4Lesbians would love to hear more from you… come on over and join our inteview series!