What It's Like to Be An LGBTQ Executive In the Music Industry

BB15 2018 - DO NOT REUSE!!!
Courtesy Photos; Design by Ady Chng
Dina LaPolt (left) and Wendy Goodman

Entertainment attorney Dina LaPolt, 52, and RCA’s senior vp of promotion, Wendy Goodman, 47, have been married since 2008.

Dina, you are self-employed; Wendy, you work for an international corporation. Have you both always been out at work?
LaPolt: I came out of the closet when I was 21. The first time anybody meets me, in the first two minutes they know that I’m a lesbian and a recovering alcoholic. And if they don’t like either one, it’s a complete deal-breaker. Get the fuck out.
Goodman: I wasn't [always] totally out. It was a gradual progression of being comfortable, and it was just a personal choice when I was ready to make the relationship I was in at the time more public. There wasn't this big announcement.

Have you had people make offensive comments around you?
I have not had any negativity around [being gay] -- and I know that’s not the norm. If someone says something like, “Oh, that’s so gay,” and I’m around, they totally catch themselves and [are] like, “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry.” In a way, it’s like they have this heightened awareness.
LaPolt: I’ve been in situations where men would be like, “Oh, what a bull dyke.” I even joke about it myself: I’m so feminine, but in a stressful negotiation or situation everybody knows I’m super aggressive. Tension will be at a high, and I’ll be like, “Well, you know, I’m the butchest dyke you’ll ever meet, so let’s just get started, fellas,” and it breaks the ice. I’ve been using that for more that 25 years; it’s just who I am.

Do you consider yourselves activists?
Every year since our kids were born, we’ve taken them to the Pride Parade in West Hollywood. That’s just an important thing for them to see.
LaPolt: I advocated for gay and lesbian rights throughout law school, but when I moved to Los Angeles, I got more into advocating for the rights of songwriters and music creators. We donate money.
Goodman: I also coach my kids’ T-ball team.
LaPolt: Like a good lesbian!

This article originally appeared in the June 15 issue of Billboard. 


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