These guys are gay and in charge. Some have come out when they were already in their position of power, while others have made it to the top while being out and proud. “As more gay people are in visible positions, our site keeps growing and growing!” Exclaimed Paul Stretti, editor of MenNation.com. “I think when a CEO comes out publicly, it really builds momentum for those who have been thinking about doing it themselves.”
Nick Denton is the head and CEO of Gawker Media, an online empire that includes sites like Jezebel and io9. He never had an official “coming out,” but recently had a beautiful wedding ceremony with his partner at the Hayden Planetarium at The American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Robert Hanson is the CEO of luxury jewelry brand John Harvey. He has also served as the CEO of American Eagle Outfitters, and the global president of Levi’s. Hanson is very out and very proud. He wrote a wonderful article about how being gay in the workplace should not be a big deal at all. He pointed out that other CEOs should make it easier for gay people to be out in the workplace, and be offered the same opportunities as everyone else.
Trevor Burgess has been openly gay since the age of 19, and also happens to be the CEO of C1 Bank in Florida. Burgess has been out for his whole successful career, including 10 years at Morgan Stanley where he was one of the only openly gay managers. Even though he can think of a few unwanted comments made about his sexuality, by clients mostly, he feels he’s been very accepted in the workplace.
Antonio Simoes is a chief executive at HSBC in the UK. He has taken initiative at the banking giant to head the UK Diversity & Inclusion Committee and has become a senior sponsor of the company’s Pride Employee Network. He has even filmed a personal video for the company, to encourage inclusion and acceptance.
These men are all excellent role models. What is your experience of being gay in the workplace?