Attending Harvard, surrounded by classmates with trust funds and blue blood, who had no idea what it was like to grow up in the projects. His years with those same WASPs, many of whom had probably never met a Jew. The period in which there was a lot more Lloyd to love, which coincided with the 'You can never be too rich or too thin' era. All experiences that likely made Lloyd Blankfein acutely aware of the fact that he was different, and maybe made him feel like a little bit of an outsider.
None of them, however, can compare to the most ostracizing experience of his life: working as a young commodities trader in an investment bank. Some might say it was the equivalent of being gay in a world that is yet to fully accept homosexuality.
The prominent investment bank CEO told attendees at a gay-advocacy leadership conference, “Out on The Street,” at Goldman’s headquarters yesterday that he understood what it was like to be on the outskirts. “And I think that on a personal level I always felt a little bit outside, myself, in a lot of ways. . . . There’s a lot of people in a lot of circumstances that make somebody feel that way,” Blankfein told an auditorium of Wall Streeters. “Even in the context of Goldman Sachs, I was a sales trader in an investment bank, I was a salesman in the context of trading. I was in a funny asset class — commodities — in a firm that’s more known for a securities kind of business,” he noted.
Obviously this wasn't an easy thing to open up about, but Lloyd is an ally to the gay community; if sharing the story of being a marginalized, cast-out commodities boy in an equities world can ease just one person's struggles, it was worth it.