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Christopher Street on Park Avenue?

At a recent networking event Jamie and I attended, the conversation eventually got to the question "Wait. You work on Park Avenue, but your company is called "Christopher Street Financial" - what gives?

It's a question that comes up quite a bit at networking events, with new clients, and even clients who have worked with us a long time. It's a fair question, and one we're always happy to answer.

Over our forty-plus years, we've had offices on Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, and now we are located in our second location on Park Avenue South. But, we have never, ever, called Christopher Street "Home", at least in terms of an office.

So, why the name?

Robert "Bob" Casaletto founded Christopher Street Financial in 1981. It was the first investment advisory service firm specifically created to address the needs of the gay community. The name "Christopher Street Financial" was chosen because the street, specifically the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City's Greenwich Village, is the birthplace of the gay rights movement, starting with the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

I imagine Bob thought there was no better way to celebrate the launch of a gay-focused business than to name it after the place that gave rise to the movement that would have an impact on our community, possibly more than Bob could ever have imagined.

In that era, an LGBTQ+ person might recognize a company that called itself "Christopher Street Financial" as being gay-friendly. And they didn't have to worry about being outed to their postman when their quarterly statements arrived. It was a "code" of sorts.

To put this into perspective, Christopher Street Financial was founded just about twelve years after the Stonewall Riots. And, on the same day as its founding, June 5th, 1981, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five homosexual men in Los Angeles, California had a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, which we know today as the first recognized cases of AIDS.

Our roots are firmly planted in serving the LGBTQ+ community. And today we work with a large number of clients that are not necessary part of the LGBTQ+ community, but they do share our values. You don't need to be gay to work with us, or even for us. Even an article in Newsday on August 15th, 1984, refers to Christopher Street Financial with a "predominantly gay clientele" - which leads us to believe we have always embraced our allies. But we will never forget our history as being the first financial advisory firm focused on the needs of the gay community - something we pride ourselves in and will continue to do so.

If you want to find out how getting to Christopher Street can help you, click this link for an introductory call.