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    GGBA Letter From Leadership: The Importance of Being Out and Representing in Business

    By Jay Greene, JD, CPA–

    As we reflect after celebrating a joyous 50th year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the Golden Gate Business Association (GGBA) continues to be a force for change and continuing achievements within the LGBTQ+ community. Celebrating the GGBA’s 45th anniversary in 2019, I want to reflect on how we all have achieved such momentous results for the LGBTQ+ community.   

    Founded in 1974, the GGBA was an historically commensurate force with our beloved Supervisor Harvey Milk as we both worked toward achieving equality by being out. As Harvey Milk so eloquently asked, “How can people change their minds about us if they don’t know who we are?” Through generations of LGBTQ+ individuals expressing their true authentic selves, society has moved forward with us in our continued march for equality.     

    Many individuals have found the freedom that being fully out offers in circles with their friends and family. However, many business owners and employees, who are members of the LGBTQ+ community, are not fully out in their professional lives. 

    What does it mean to be fully out in your professional life? It means empowering your community and making sure that the business decisions reflect the entire rich diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. It means expressing yourself as queer, bi, lesbian, gay, pansexual, or any of the sexualities represented in our community. Your voice as a gender non-conforming, non-binary, gender neutral, transgender, male, female, or any of the spectrum of genders represented in our community helps to enrich the entire business world when it is expressed in your business. 

    You might be asking: How can I start to express my true authentic self more in my business? The GGBA has been serving the San Francisco business community for over four decades, providing a resource that offers its members opportunity, education and advocacy. The GGBA welcomes you to join the discussion within our community:

    You will find mentors and peers who want to see your business succeed. Others will be enriched when you actively bring your thoughts and skills that add diversity to our membership. Membership in the GGBA allows for certification at no cost as a majority-owned LGBT business enterprise for qualifying businesses. This allows diverse owned businesses to get equity when competing for contracts with corporations. Please reach out to any GGBA board member to learn more about how you can enrich your community.  

    Jay Greene, JD, CPA, is an attorney at his namesake The Greene Law Firm (447 Sutter Street) that handles estate, probate and elder law. For more information:


    GGBA Calendar

    Coffee with the President
    Each Friday through September 6, 2019, Audry deLucia and Gina Grahame—President and President-elect of GGBA—invite you to share your thoughts with them about GGBA and to learn more about the Association and LGBT business certification.
    July 12, 19 and 26
    7:30 am–8:30 am
    Equator Coffee
    LinkedIn building
    222 2nd Street (at Howard)

    GGBA Member Roundtable Make Contact
    The GGBA is shifting the July Make Contact a bit, asking members to engage in a roundtable discussion regarding the chamber’s member programming. The board wants to hear from members on what programs you want the chamber to continue producing and what other programming you would find meaningful and engaging, in pursuit of your business goals.
    Tuesday, July 16
    5:45 pm Registration
    6:15 pm–7:30 pm Program/Roundtable Discussion
    Free for Members; $25 for Non-Members
    SF LGBT Center
    1800 Market Street