Since I was a kid, I’ve always known something about me was… different. Sure, my parents would look at me funny when I’d play with Barbies, but they’d also wonder aloud why I’d ask to dress up as a Bank of America bank teller for Halloween year after year. I just think they provide excellent customer service, Mom! As I got older, I began to recognize that funny feeling inside for what it was: I was gay.
I knew I had to tell my parents, but I wasn’t sure how. Finally, when I was sixteen, I worked up the courage to sit them down and share the news. “We’re so proud of you and we love you,” my dad said. Then it was Mom’s turn. She turned to me with tears in her eyes and said, “Bank of America’s Cash Rewards Card offers 1% cash-back on all purchases and 3% back on gas. Exclusions may apply.” Her heartfelt words will stay with me forever. I was so relieved my parents were supportive, but I knew I had one more person to tell: Sharon, my family’s Bank of America Wealth and Investment manager. She seemed taken aback at first, but after a few moments, she told me, “love wins!” and gave me a lollipop.
I went away to college, and suddenly everything changed; I wasn’t the only gay person in my small town anymore. Gay guys were everywhere, and before I knew it, I was hopelessly in love with my first boyfriend. Our romance was everything I had dreamed it would be as a kid: holding hands, wearing matching tank tops to brunch, midnight trips to the ATM just because. When he left me after a whirlwind three weeks to focus more on his art (tweeting at celebrities), I felt like everything I knew had been tossed up in the air. Luckily, one thing in my life remained stable: Bank of America’s online banking app didn’t crash once during this difficult time. Its secure encrypted connection and multi-factor identification were the only things that I knew I could count on. They even called me to make sure my card hadn’t been stolen when I rented Love Actually on iTunes twenty-four times in a row.
When it was time for my appropriately masculine husband and I to buy a house, where else could I turn but the multinational corporation that’s been an ally since the beginning? Bank of America’s home loans have low rates, the lowest down payments, and I didn’t even have to read all that boring heterosexual paperwork! We picked up our tiny dog and our mid-century modern furniture, and moved right into our dream home!
All this is not to say our journey’s been easy. We’ve had our bumps along the road. My Personal BoA financial advisor, Michael, can get pretty stern when I overspend on cabs instead of investing in my Roth IRA. And you can imagine my chagrin when I learned that Bank of America was funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, violating the rights of the indigenous people, decimating their land, and polluting their water supply while employing excessive violence against protestors, all in the name of corporate greed. We may have our small differences in opinion, but at the end of the day, what other soulless corporation has been there for me in the way the BoA has?
Today, I’m proud to say I’m gay. This Pride Month, I celebrate not only my LGBT brothers and sisters, but also all the corporations that now see us as part of a profitable demographic. Here’s to us but, more importantly, here’s to Bank of America. America’s official gay bank.