Patrick Adams went to dinner one night last June with a business colleague, William, who commented that a waitress was very attractive. Patrick agreed that she was, but said the male bartender was hotter.
William soon learned that Adams was gay, and their conversation at that restaurant in Santa Barbara, California, continued about gay lifethe good and the bad, including Adams' firing from a job because he's gay, he said.
That dinner also led to a new business venture for both: Pride Wireless, the first LGBT majority-owned and operated wireless company.
"I really feel like I've found my passion," said Adams, 50, who lives and works in Southern California, yet spent two winters in Chicago decades ago and has extensive experience working in the technology industry.
Adams moved to San Diego years ago and got into the wireless business, first working for a company called Jitterbug, known as the cell phone company for seniors. He worked for the company for close to five years, thus becoming very familiar with that marketspace. He also has experience working for Tru Connect, a mobile hotspot company. He helped launch that company and it was sold at Walmart.
Pride Wirelesswhich will sell phones and offer service plans through its websiteis geared for the gay community as it carries a philanthropic strategy, giving back a portion of its profits each month to LGBT community organizations based on votes by its customers. Pride's goal is to change the world, one cell phone at a timestarting first in the United States, and eventually expanding worldwide. Since incorporating, Pride has secured a strategic partnership that grants cellular network access in 32 countries.
"We feel we can make incredible change and make equality a reality for the LGBT community," he said.
Pride Wireless launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, running through mid-August, in hopes of raising $50,000. To watch the company's Indiegogo video, go to: www.indiegogo.com/projects/pride-wireless#/story.
Adams said the company is planning to launch in conjunction with the 45th Atlanta Pride Festival, Oct. 10-11.