Business Owner Embraces Being Out and Proud.


My name’s Aurelio Giordano and I’m from
Brooklyn, New York. So back in 2008, at the time I was working
as an executive assistant in the marketing department of a large media company. And we were at a holiday work party – it was
around Christmas time. Somebody came up with the idea to play “Fuck,
Marry, Kill.” The premise being, you know, you name three
people – one you’re going to fuck, one you’re gonna marry, one you’re gonna kill them. Now mind you, I had already been with the
company for about a year and a half and I have been out. My boss, though, she didn’t know directly
from me. So then, the woman who came before me, she
gives her three, you know, choices. And again, everyone reacts and this, that
and the other. And I’m saying to myself, “Oh shit, I’m
next.” I think I just kinda came out and said, “Oh,
well, I would pick the same three she did. And there was just kinda like, “Ohhhhh!” You know, like, “Ohhhhhh!” kinda thing. And then I kinda had a moment with with my
boss shortly after the game. She had had a couple of cocktails and I’d
had a couple of cocktails, and she was like, “Oh I knew!” You know, like just the typical cliche thing
a lot of people say. You know, our relationship was good before
it stayed good after. And it wasn’t that big of a deal. I can’t pinpoint exactly how much time after
that Christmas party it had happened, but there was a scenario with this other girl
that was in another department. I had never said anything directly to her
about my personal life, but I’m sure she must have found out. And she purposely comes over to my cubicle
and is like, “Hey, we were talking about X, Y, and Z about Madonna. What do you think about it? Do you like it?” And this, that and the other. My reaction at the time was, I answered, “Oh,
yeah. Oh, I heard about it. Oh, I haven’t heard it yet.” But then I kinda took a minute to reflect
upon that. And it was like, she never came to me before
to ask me anything about Madonna. But after this Christmas party that I had
supposedly outed myself, now you wanna come over and ask me what my opinion is about the
latest Madonna thing that’s out there. It was a bit of a – I guess I would call it
a turning point. A little bit of a turning point about, in
terms of being out in the workplace and what role I wanted my personal life to play at
my job or in my career. After I had gotten let though from from that
company, in the year or two to follow, I had decided that I wanted to start a business. I officially started Ace World Travel in June
of 2012. And having come from a family business, I
knew how important it was to build your name and build your credibility. I didn’t wanna pigeonhole myself, you know,
just like I don’t want to be pigeonholed as the token gay guy, you know, in the office. About two years in, I realize, okay, maybe
now it is time to study and get to know a little bit more about how to work with different
types of people. The LGBT market was something that was always
there and was starting to gain presence. Thinking about it, I obviously didn’t want
to leave that stone unturned, both from a business perspective and personally, because
obviously being of the community, I wanna service the community as well. So the first thing I did was join an organization
called the IGLTA. It’s the International Gay and Lesbian Travel
Association. If now I start making it known that I work
and sell travel with the LGBT community, what is that going to mean to the public? Because the last thing I want is to be the
gay travel agent. I’m a travel agent who’s gay. I’m not the gay travel agent. Both personally and from a business standpoint,
it was smart for me to just continue diving into it. I decided that I wanted to make working with
the LGBT community a bit more – a bit more of a focus. Now, I’m making a conscious decision to incorporate
it in my business, make it known and be proud of it and say it, you know, intentionally. I’ve been affiliated with the IGLTA for
three-plus years. I’ve even gone further to join the National
Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and now Ace World Travel is nationally certified as
an LGBT-owned business. It’s been many years since I was that guy
at that Christmas party that officially outed himself playing, “Fuck, Marry, Kill” and
who, you know, had a little bit of an issue being the token gay guy in the office being
asked questions about Madonna. I’m older now and I’ve grown more into
myself and more comfortable with who I am. Having a part of my presence in terms of as
a business owner and an entrepreneur has been a pretty tricky situation. But it’s something that now five years in,
soon to start my sixth year, I’ve completely embraced.

8 Replies to “Business Owner Embraces Being Out and Proud.

  1. These videos are awesome! You guys deserve to be more popular because I love these videos and I think that others will, too!

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