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Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000
File 020
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Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 020. 2000-01-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1071.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-01-21). Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 020. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1071

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 020, 2000-01-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1071.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date January 21, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 020
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE » JANUARY 21, 2000 OUT ON THE BAYOU 19 "That show reaches out to the hinterlands, to kids who are in high school and going through sexual orientation turmoil," Gold said, "I remember when I was in high school. I almost had a nervous breakdown. I wanted to commit suicide, because I thought I was the Only one who was like this." Gold, 48, was born in Trenton, N.J., and graduated from Long Island University, though he took six years. "I was not a great student," he recalled. He was working at Bloomingdale's when he came out, emboldened by a gay boss and other employees. After that, "I flourished as a human being." A dozen years ago, Gold and Williams (art director at Seventeen magazine) met in a New York bar and have been together since. In 1989, the gay quest lor elegance and comfort led the men to launch their company with a line of upholstered dining chairs. "If you sit in a regular wooden dining chair, by the time you get to dessert at a dinner party, you want to get up and sit in the den." But in an upholstered chair, "you can sit down at 8 and at 12 o'clock you can still be at the table drinking." Gold was the new company's president and CEO, while Williams was its executive vice president and director of design and product development. Their first factory had 23 employees; Gold is proud that 17 are still on his payroll. A sideline—slipcovers for dining chairs—then turned into big business, leading Gold and Williams to introduce washable replacement slipcovers for sofas and chairs, as well as original upholstered The Mitchell Gold Co. 'came out' with a provocative series of newspaper ads. pieces designed with lift-off covers. Again, the pair's passion for casual elegance directed them. "We loved the idea that our dogs could come up on the sofa, and if it got dirty, we'd wash it. It's a much less stressful way of living." Today the company's Taylorsville, N.C., headquarters encompasses nearly 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Gold is especially proud that it includes a daycare center for the children of his nearly 500 employees, plus a gym, indoor track and health-conscious cafe. The daycare center even prompted a letter from a local minister, who praised the gay-run company's commitment to family values. The company offers benefits to workers' domestic www.compxchange.com Inexpensive Small' Business Networks members Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce I Quality Systems Competitive Prices Old Fashioned Service1 Sharp, Speedy Repairs I computer exchange 1212 Westheimer • 713-529-6789 partners and includes sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy. Though Gold notes that Williams' office "is at the opposite end [of the factory] from mine," he said he and Williams have found living and working together to be a great experience. "1 couldn't imagine not being in business together. I couldn't imagine not working together every day," Gold said. The company's sales this year are expected to reach $75 million, and Gold acknowledged that the stress of running the operation can creep into non-office hours. The partners have an agreement that either has the authority to "tune out" work-related conversation at home if it threatens to kill the mood. "We have as perfect as you can get in a working relationship, but you can only do that with somebody in whom you have very high confidence, because there's a lot of monev involved. Whenever we do have an argument, we remember that we have an obligation to our employees." Another resident of the Gold-Williams household comes to the furniture factory every workdav: their English bulldog Lulu. The dog that Gold admits resembles "a snorting little pig" is a big hit with the kids in daycare. She's the star of many company ads and is even featured on the cover of the annual report of the Rowe Furniture Corp., which acquired the Mitchell Gold Co. in 1998. "We sold my name!" Gold said in a mock lament. "I'm thinking of changing my name, because 1 don't own my name anymore. I'm thinking of changing it to Otis." Kidding aside, Gold is delighted with his new corporate parent. "In the world of mergers and marriages, this is as good as it gets. They don't interfere. The let us do whatever advertising we want, however we see fit to build the brand." Gold said when he and Williams came South in 1987, "it occurred to me that I was Northern, Jewish and gay, and had a big problem." He was delighted, then, to find their neighbors cordial and inclusive. The men now live in a lakefront home in Hickory. "Of the things I'm most proud of, one of them is that we have, on a grassroots level, presented ourselves to the non-gay community in a very positive, professional sense without being pretentious. We're just ourselves," Gold said. Euro Pine Direct Importers of Fine Furniture 'Where The Trade Is Always Welcome' WESTHEIMER ROAD CLARKCREST N ° i AVENUE Antique Country Pine at Competitive Prices Phone: 713-266-4304 • Fax: 713-781-8445 E-mail: hbw4gla@acninc.net • www.europinedirect.qpg.com 3029 Crossview. Houston, TX 77063 One Block East of Fondren and Westheimer
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