Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

We're in Business

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

We're in Business

Article excerpt

The last time I worked "in business," I was 22, the lowliest vice president of an outfit whose stock had jumped from $6 per share to $140. Then it crashed. The president (old guy, 32) went to jail, and I went off to business school at Harvard. But first I wrote a book about it that "told all--except the one thing that had been uppermost in my mind the entire time: namely, that I was gay.

Not in the sense that I had done anything or told anyone. The full extent of my gay life at this company was a guy named Glenn, whom I fantasized wrestling to the floor and ... and ... well, I was a pretty good wrestler, but I had no clue what might come after that. Of course, this was only fantasy. In a million years I would never have done it or even let on I was attracted to him. It was 1970, a different time. (Nor could Glenn risk encouraging me. Years later I discovered he'd been a "practicing homosexual" all the time I was fantasizing.)

Cut to 1995: I have recruited Quicken software cocreator Tom Proulx to help fix California's auto-insurance mess. (In California two thirds of the $7 billion paid annually for bodily injury liability insurance goes to legal fees and fraud. The most seriously injured recoup just 9% of their actual losses from that $7-billion pool.) I'm in a meeting with him and two campaign consultants. "I just want to put something on the table, Tom," I say in the interests of full disclosure. "I'm gay. Our opposition [the lawyers, who like the auto-insurance system just the way it is] might try to use that somehow. …

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