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Beyond Pride: Inside the Movement to Make Money More Inclusive of LGBTQ+ Americans

Four years after coming out as the first openly gay member of the New York Stock Exchange, Walter Schubert turned his attention to the internet and made history again. He founded the Gay Financial Network, or GFN.com: the first website dedicated to giving the LGBTQ+ community money news and advice. As in, first ever.

“At the time, all of Wall Street’s financial products were geared toward straight couples. It was cookie cutter — everybody’s the same,” Schubert says. “What I introduced was no, everybody’s not the same.”

GFN.com’s 1998 debut was a big deal. It inspired write-ups in The New York Times, Wired and The Wall Street Journal. The site and its associated broker-dealer grew quickly, building out a directory of LGBTQ+-friendly professionals and resources on topics like how to visit a dying partner in the hospital without being legally married. Traffic climbed to 200,000 unique page views a month. Schubert was showing the world, he says, “that we were real people, too, with real problems just like them.”

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