Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It Is Called Wall Street Because There Was Once A Big Wall There. That's Also How Gay Street Got Its Name...

We remember once a year or two ago when we were out with a friend who was meeting up with some of her college peeps downtown. They were all i-banker types, and among them was a gay we knew. We'd seen him out and about at the usual watering holes - duves, poops, hiro, boys room, star-star, beige - you name it, he was there, drunk as a skank in his sleeveless tees, sticking his tongue in every gay man's mouth south of 21st street. We noticed he was a little uneasy in the group, but thought maybe he just fell off the speaker he was dancing on the night before. But when we were leaving, we leaned in to kiss him on the cheek, and boyfriend turned away! SNAP! He dissed us! No mwah mwah's allowed when you were out with your fellow i-bankers apparently.

Our friend later told us that he wasn't really out to his co-workers. "I-banks are really homophobic," she said, "they talk about sports and say 'that's so gay.'" We were curious as to how people can stay in the closet when they show up to work day after day with their hands smelling like go-go boy crotch, but then again, we don't work in finance.

So we are glad to hear that Wall Street is starting to reach out to the gays, making it a better, more open place to work. Because we all know what a hostile working environment can lead you to do.

Though our first job wasn't in finance, it was a block from Wall Street, so we too were worried about how to come out to our co-workers, and how they might react. This anxiety was cured on the first day, when in the 10am staff meeting, a cockroach fell from the ceiling onto the conference table, and we let out a high pitched scream and ran to the other end of the room, yes, still screaming. The senior vice president in the department grabbed the cockroach with his hand and threw him out the window, but the touching of the bug with the hand caused us to scream even more. But then we realized that we no longer had to make up a boyfriend to say, "we and our boyfriend went away for the weekend" to out ourselves. From the beginning, no one ever talked to us about sports. Goldman and Merrill types, take note.

2 comments:

the one in your dreams said...

at my first law firm, during the summer we had this big gay dinner for all the big gay summers. though hearing stories from big gay partners about how it was back in their day--ehh, not so much.

when i got the invite, i think i was more disappointed that all the people i worked with this whole time already knew.

Chef Michael S said...

Okay it's time I shared my deep dark secret. After B-school, an MBA, and a short stint at Law School, I woke up in a sweat fearing what my life would be like in a suit, and in a closet. I panicked, called my French chef buddy Patric: "Why worry? You can peel carrots in my restaurant for a while. You can decide later, when you're ready." How perfectly French of him!

Thus launched my career as a chef, leading to my opening the first openly gay restaurant in the country, a life in jeans, and earning two stars from The Times. Oh, and no regrets--not ever.