First off was the official announcement of the establishment of the North Texas Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Chamber of Commerce. This is something that several businesses and community activists have been kicking around, myself included, and it's good to see it up and running. We wanted to be certain it was the "North Texas" and not just the "DFW" one, because, as the Metroplex grows, more and more glbts are moving out to the hinterlands (like myself) and putting down roots in the region as a whole. Part of what we want to avoid is the "gays as an urban phenomenon only" syndrome -- a big part of winning the hearts and minds of the voters we need here in Texas and elsewhere will be our involvement in the community and their seeing us in venues other than gay rights rallies.
Anyone who lives in Dallas soon realizes that the city is, as PlanetOut puts it, "Guppie (gay urban professional) culture at its most glitzy, its most starched". It is a city driven by money and success; anyone who has or shows the ability to make either or both will be accepted, regardless of who or what they are. This is why, when we were pushing the nondiscrimination ordinance for the city, the help of locally-headquartered businesses, including American Airlines, was key in convincing the City Council of not only the rightness, but the business necessity of ensuring fair and equal treatment for all of its citizens.
Along interestingly-similar lines, I was struck by one of the comments made by Carol Reed, president of Carol Reed Associates, a marketing and advertising firm here in Dallas, about the ouster of Carly Fiorina as CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Ms. Reed does a significant amount of investor-relations work. So, I (business columnist Cheryl Hall) asked her, is Wall Street really gender blind?
"Stockholders care about the stock price, company positioning and stability. You can be a transsexual if you achieve improvement in these areas."
And there you have it, folks....money can't buy you love, but it CAN buy you acceptance here.