A percentage of my income is derived from the event industry performing on the classical & flamenco guitar, Chinese pipa and bagpipes. Prior to my career in music and as I was developing and growing my business I supported myself as a baker developing my skills that enabled me to rise to the level of Pastry Chef. Never once have I worked for a bakery that denied or even cared about a person’s orientation. In my personal life my friendships are based off of character.
There’s my declaration of equality. Having said that, with the current debate over event services and the Arizona Bill regarding the denial of services to gay people on moral grounds I am reminded of an event request I had a few years ago.
The request was for my services for an event that would celebrate the retirement of a person who worked as a lobbyist in Washington, DC for a number of years. I was excited! It was DC, it was a political event, and it was a great opportunity for me to further my name establishing it deeper into the event industry in DC. After reading the email inquiry I Googled the persons name and came across information that matched very closely to the person mentioned in the email. The caveat was that this person had a strong background with the kkk and didn’t hide the fact. I decided at that point not to call back. I would not sell my talent for this event as I am morally opposed to his belief. In addition to it actually being his choice to pitch for that team.
I did question why they would call me with my very Jewish name to play Spanish and Chinese music for a kkk member’s party. I decided to reply to the call after all. Though the information was similar the party was not for the person I am morally opposed to. The party was for a different person with the same name. The person who contacted me was the partner of the man the party was for, they were Democrats and there would be a very nice mix of people. They were aware of the other person and were happy I called back. So was I! It was a great party and made great connections and picked up a few gigs from it.
Again I say that I do not condone any business or person that refuses service to anybody because of their sexual orientation based on their perception of what morality is. Regardless of the out come in my situation and that it wasn’t based on sexuality, I did the same thing when I made the decision not to play a party for a person who I am morally opposed to.
As an event service provider the only people I refuse to do business with are the one’s who say, “Well I did find someone who will do it for $100.” Sorry I will not do business with you.