When I told my pain management doctor that I was heading to Tokyo and India to work with Merrill, he asked me if "Merrill" was my sister. Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our own dramas we forget that not everyone has seen our script.
Merrill is Merrill Lynch, the investment banking firm, more accurately known today as Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. My sisters’ names, for the record, are Kathy and Maureen. They are not coming with me to Asia. Ray is.
The script for this trip is well worth seeing. The synopsis is that Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs are bringing me to Japan to work with their senior executives on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. After two presentations in Tokyo, I am going with Merrill to Mumbai for another groundbreaking talk with their senior executives in India.
For me and others working on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues, the invitation by Merrill and Goldman is enormously significant. These historic talks are the first efforts being made by corporations to ensure that their workplaces in those cultures are as welcoming for gay and transgender people as they are in New York, Toronto, or London. Besides the immediate effect of building the confidence and competence of the senior managers in my trainings, there is great potential for rippling effects upon diversity efforts in other local companies, as well as on attitudes in the culture. A person educated about gay and transgender people is more likely to be an ally when someone comes out in the family or the neighborhood. Read more…