The LGBTQ+ community has been working tirelessly for years to get the rights that we deserve. Because of discrimination, many people have shared little—and in some cases, nothing—about their personal life when at work or in the public eye.
Thankfully, it’s a new day, and more and more LGBTQ folk are thriving professionally.
With the LGBTQ community exerting more power day by day, there are more LGBTQ billionaires today than ever before.
The World’s Richest LGBTQ Billionaires
In this article, we’ll explore a range of LGBTQ billionaires, from the beloved to the controversial.
Regardless of what you think of them, they have risen to the top of their fields and have amassed incredible fortunes while doing it. Let’s dive in.
1. Peter Thiel
The first billionaire on this list is Peter Thiel. He is the founder of the third-party payment website PayPal and is ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest people.
Thiel is also well-known for becoming Facebook‘s first outside investor when he acquired a 10.2% stake for only $500,000 in August 2004. Clearly, that move has provided an astounding return-on-investment (ROI).
Although the PayPal founder is a gay man himself, he has become well-known in the news for the financial backing that he provided to Republican candidate Kris Kobach.
Kobach is known for being against marriage equality and other forms of discrimination that make it especially confusing for Thiel to support him. Although Thiel is gay, he provided substantial funds to Kobach, who has published a variety of anti-LGBTQ ads.
Regardless how you feel about Peter Thiel’s political motives, this German-American billionaire is a savvy businessman, entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
He currently has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion.
2. David Geffen
Not only is Geffen an accomplished businessman, but he is also a film studio executive, philanthropist, and producer. Alongside Elliot Roberts, he created Asylum Records in 1971.
Geffen later opened another recording studio named Geffen Records in 1980 and one more studio called DGC Records. This studio came to be in 1990. When you consider the work that he has done as a philanthropist, it has directly impacted young LGBTQ people.
He created the David Geffen Foundation that provides grants to people who have experienced issues with their healthcare, HIV/AIDS, and civil liberties. Geffen is someone who worked hard for his money, and as a gay man, is giving back to those within the LGBTQ community who are struggling.
Geffen also owns DreamWorks Animation studios, who are responsible for producing some of your favorite childhood cartoons.
3. Jennifer Pritzker
Her family has created a strong reputation in the world of business and philanthropy. She is the owner of the Hyatt chain of hotels and came out as transgender in 2013.
Pritzker is Republican and has provided financial backing to a variety of Republican candidates in the past.
When it comes to her contribution to the LGBTQ community, Pritzker has provided funding for programs, researchers, and other efforts to aid with issues that can affect LGBTQ individuals.
Pritzker is currently worth an estimated $1.8 billion and is the first and only openly transgender billionaire.
4. Stein Erik Hagen
Stein Erik Hagen founded the RIMI supermarket alongside his father in 1977 and revealed that he was bisexual in 2015. He let viewers know that it wasn’t until his adult years that he came to terms with his sexuality.
Attracted to entrepreneurship and investing, Hagen is one of the primary shareholders of the Norwegian company Orkla. He also holds a stake in various other companies, such as Jernia, Steen & Strøm, and Komplett—owned by his family company Canica.
As a result of his business dealings, Hagen has risen to billionaire status. His net worth is estimated at Norwegian (NOK) 24 billion, making him the second richest person in Norway.
In U.S. dollars, this translates to approximately 2.7 billion.
5. Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani is a renowned Italian fashion designer, who formed his company, Armani, in 1975. He gradually used this business vehicle to diversify into music, sport and luxury hotels.
Because of the work he’s done in the fashion industry, Armani is the wealthiest LGBTQ person to grace this list with worth an astounding net worth of $8.1 billion.
Although many purchase his products, the Italian mogul faced backlash in 2015 for comments he made with regard to the way some gay men choose to dress. In a controversial interview with the The Sunday Times Magazine, Armani said that “a man needs to be a man.”
Armani has never confirmed his sexuality, but briefly mentioned in a 2000 interview that he’s had both men and women in his life.
Even though his remarks have hurt and angered various people a part of the LGBTQ community, it doesn’t seem to have affected his billionaire status.
6. Domenico Dolce
Domenico Dolce is another well-known fashion designer who created the luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana. His relationship with Stefano Gabbana was more than business partners; they are former lovers.
Much like Armani, Dolce faced major backlash for comments that he made about children born via the IVF process. He more or less stated that children who were born from this process aren’t real children.
He explained that he believes that life is “natural”, and because he cannot have children as a man, that is the way that things are supposed to be. Thankfully, by March 2015, the Italian fashion mogul apologized for these comments that offended many members of the LGBTQ community.
As a side note, both Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were convicted of tax evasion for the failure to pay taxes on millions of euros. They were sentenced to a 20-month suspended sentence in prison.
Dolce’s net worth is estimated at $1.9 billion.
The LGBTQ Billionaires of Today and Tomorrow
On this list, you found the wealthiest LGBTQ billionaires that the world has to offer. Some of them have made headlines for the things they’ve done to help the LGBTQ community, while others have been a bit more controversial.
What is certain, however, is that none of them have allowed their personal or sexual identity to limit their potential.
On a personal level, I will say that it is saddening that there aren’t more women and people of color on this list. Hopefully, with time and progress, the demographics of this list will shift to be more equitable.
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