Billboard’s second annual Pride issue spotlights 40 industry-shaping LGBTQ executives working to push the world forward, and at Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural Pride Summit in Los Angeles on Thursday (Aug. 8), six of those industry influencers sat down with Billboard’s consumer editorial director Ian Drew.
During the Pride In the Corner Office panel, Drew turned the discussion toward LGBTQ-identifying execs who are out to the world but not necessarily comfortable touting it.
“I think it’s different for each individual,” says Aaron Rosenberg, partner, Myman Greenspan Fox Rosenberg Mobasser Younger & Light. “I understand those who don’t want to be solely defined by LGBTQ-ness, but it’s incumbent on those of us who are able to speak out to speak out. We shouldn’t put them down but lead by example.”
“Especially in today’s political climate, with the rise of hate groups, it’s important to be out and proud,” says Cindy Nguyen, senior artist brand strategist, Create Music Group. “The people comfortable with being out and proud need to lead the charge.”
“We have a responsibility, in my opinion, to do the work of being visible,” says Rick Marcello, manager of creative sync, Kobalt Music. “I still have the privilege of being white and cis and it’s my responsibility to make sure I’m paving the way so people can have access to the spaces I’m in…. Everybody has the right to control their own narrative, but when you have power and privilege it’s important to recognize that. Our trans brothers and sisters and queer people of color are still experiencing violence every day — much less being able to go to work and be celebrated and accepted. We need to push that forward for our family.”