A Whole New Meaning For Gay Life

You never know when youre going to get a great idea.

It could be while youre sipping Mumm from a flute as the souffl? is rising in the kitchen; or while youre window-shopping at Prada in Soho; or as youre doing your own fantastic version of Gloria Gaynors “I Will Survive.”

In any case, I think this idea came to me as I was watching a “Will & Grace” rerun. Simply put, its this: Why doesnt some entrepreneur start a life insurance company solely for gays and lesbians? No straight people need apply.

As far as I know it hasnt been done, but the potential for success is staggering.

First, there are the demographic factors. Many surveys have documented that the gay and lesbian population has a high level of disposable income, a willingness to spend it, and a desire for products and services tailored to their needs and desires.

Industries of all stripeswith the glaring exception of insurancehave responded with products marketed specifically to gays. This ranges from car manufacturers to liquor companies to clothing retailers and vacation providers.

Second, the gay thing has never been so ubiquitous. This is true not only in the entertainment worldthink of the phenomenal success of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”–but in the way that the whole issue of gay marriage has been dominating the headlines. OK, one can understand San Francisco. But New Paltz in sleepy upstate New York?

Third, and most important, is the need. The ravages of the early years of the AIDS epidemic, particularly among male homosexuals, have struck home. The self-destructive promiscuous drive, while still flourishing in some quarters, has been largely replaced with a greater appreciation for living long and settling down. Find a partner, raise a family.

And now that our Compassionate-Conservative-in-Chief has weighed in with his push to demean the Constitution with an amendment that would embed discrimination in that document, the need for a life insurance company serving the gay population becomes even more striking.

A life insurer catering solely to gays would find a way to embrace the issue of insurable interest that is a sticking point in the rest of the industry. A company created and marketed as being dedicated to what others do not or will not insure would find a tremendous resonance in a community that, for all its advances in recent times, still finds itself the subject of bias and discrimination.

Now, the subject of who could do this and what to call the company.

My vote for providing the seed money for this company goes to Rosie ODonnell. If she can blow $10 million backing “Taboo,” the Boy George musical that flopped, I think she might be persuaded to put up the dough to start a life insurance company. Rosie, you could hang out the first shingle in The Castro in S.F., and watch the lines go out the door and down the street.

As for what to call the company, I have some ideas. One that might have some resonance with gays is The Stonewall Life Insurance Company. In the time-honored tradition of the life business it would be proudly referred to as The Stonewall.

For those who appreciate cognitive dissonance (as well as ironic puns), there is Wilde Life Insurance Company.

But the name with the most traction, I believe, would be Gay Life Insurance Company.

So simple, but it gives a whole new meaning to Gay Life, doesnt it?

Steve Piontek
Editor-in-Chief

“Why doesnt some entrepreneur start a life insurance company solely for gays and lesbians


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, March 5, 2004. Copyright 2004 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.C opyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.