ATMORE, Ala. (WPMI) – 17-year-old Chelsey Ramer was not granted her high school diploma, and was fined $1,000 for wearing a feather at graduation in honor of her Native American heritage. CNN affiliate WPMI reports.
By Blake Ellis, CNNMoney
(CNNMoney) - Mark Stephanz, a senior investment banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was sure his decision to come out of the closet would end his career.
He had been at the firm for over 20 years, and everyone knew him as a straight, married man with three children. So he knew the news could come as a shock.
"Wall Street has always had that good old boys image, so I was fearful at first that I was risking my career," he said.
But his internal struggle finally became too much to bear. First, Stephanz gradually came out to his family. Then he told his coworkers and managers.
The reaction was surprising. His boss was supportive and said he couldn't believe that Stephanz, who was 47 at the time, had lived his life as he had for so long. His clients, too, were supportive.
That was just a few years ago. If he had come out even earlier, Stephanz doesn't know whether it would have gone so smoothly.
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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