Employees of the financial services firm AllianceBernstein invited the PRISM Board to its Pride event entitled “Is is really getting better?” on June 21 in Midtown Manhattan.
Anthony Thompson, a Principal at Bernstein Private Wealth Management, opened the event with very moving remarks, explaining that, in the past 20 years, there have been many positive changes for the LGBTQ+ community in the United States, including new developments in HIV and Hepatitis C treatment and prevention, as well as equal rights and marriage legalization for same-sex couples. Mr. Thompson then discussed how, despite these advances, some members of the LGBTQ+ community are still particularly vulnerable, especially transgender people of color, dozens of whom were murdered in recent years. Even though things really are getting better for some segments of the LGBTQ+ community, there are still many arenas where LGBTQ+ people need legal protections and societal respect and acceptance. After this sobering beginning to the presentation, the host mentioned four notable quotations from country music icon Dolly Parton, a resident of Nashville, Tennessee, where AllianceBernstein will open a new office in the coming years:
- "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap."
- "I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb... and I also know that I'm not blonde."
- "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
- "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails."
Then, the company debuted its latest video about being openly LGBTQ+ at the firm, as an update to the video they produced five years ago. Next, four LGBTQ+ AllianceBernstein employees shared, in a panel discussion, their experiences coming out to their families and at work in the financial sector, which has a reputation for being conservative relative to other industries. The event concluded with a reception with sweeping views of Central Park from AllianceBernstein’s 41st-story office space.