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Blackstone's head of Europe says he was shunned for attending Pride

Lionel Assant, the head of European private equity at Blackstone, is not gay, but he is an ally to the gay community.  Last week, Assant spent an evening celebrating Pride at a party with employees at Blackstone. He posted about the party on social media and says he was shocked by the result. 

"I posted a genuinely upbeat and inclusive post about attending a Pride event at Blackstone in London with many colleagues including my colleague and friend Alex Walsh to celebrate the right and pride for anyone to be and not to hide who they truly are," says Assant. "Close to 2,000 people unfollowed me on the back on my last post. On the one hand, I am sorry to see so much hate and I sadly realise some of what the LGBTQ community is going through. On the other hand, I am happy that some people who do not share my values, have decided to show their true colours."

Assant has 22,380 followers now and presumably had 24,380 before his new post. 

His observation that 2,000 people stopped following him by virtue of his reference to Pride attracted statements of support from various senior people in European banking, including Luigi Rizzo, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley in London, Anna Skoglund, head of the EMEA financial and strategic investor group at Goldman Sachs and Philip Noblet, the head of UK investment banking at Jefferies. 

It's possible that Assant's declining popularity wasn't entirely the result of his post, though. LinkedIn says it's recently, "removed hibernated and restricted accounts," and that this may be impacting follower count. 

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Photo by Margaux Bellott on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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