In 2011, my parents gave me a sum of money that was both outrageous and, in the real estate terms of major cities, quite reasonable: 10 percent down on the 250-square-foot apartment I still own in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. While I was conflicted about taking it, there wasn’t much of a question about whether I’d accept. My writing career (any writing career!) was inherently unstable; having a roof over my head that I could not only count on but would also help me build equity meant everything. And though I pay my monthly maintenance and mortgage on my own, as I did with my rent, that initial down payment would have taken me years to save, time that would have priced me out of the market.
“We’d leave you this money anyway; you might as well use it now!” my dad would say in conversations about how I should buy, and I’d remind him that he and my mom were never supposed to die. After I closed on my apartment, I’d gently correct people who asked if I’d mind telling them what I paid in rent that um, I actually owned, but I didn’t tend to divulge how I owned, exactly. Only my good friends, and those who asked point-blank, knew that.
I, like any savvy internetter, know full well how outrage against privilege (financial or otherwise) works: We railed against the entitled Refinery29 Money Diarist whose parents not only paid her rent, but who also gave her an allowance, supplemented by a second allowance from her grandfather. On the other side of the coin is Kylie Jenner, touted as self-made, at least according to that July Forbes cover, and very close to billionaire status. We railed against that, too, but for a different reason: “It is not shade to point out that Kylie Jenner isn’t self-made,” tweeted the writer Roxane Gay. “She grew up in a wealthy, famous family. Her success is commendable but it comes by virtue of her privilege.”
More here – Harpers Bazaar