The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Troy Suda, Ticketmaster
The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.
The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster.
To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.
Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Paul Bonham, professional development director at Music Managers Forum in the UK.
The series continues with Troy Suda (he/him/his), chief product officer at Ticketmaster in the UK.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Transforming Ticketmaster’s Marketplace in more than 30 countries has been the most rewarding accomplishment for me so far. Being able to work closely with teams all over the world, from Germany to Canada to New Zealand, is not only something I have enjoyed immensely but something I’m really proud of.
What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
You will thrive when you are working in an environment that is diverse, and where different perspectives are respected and recognised to help shape a better outcome. So be yourself. Bring your whole self to work. And if you don’t feel like you’re in an environment where that is a possibility, seek out companies that provide that. Life is too short to have to not be yourself at work every day.
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Withholding who I was in a professional setting early in my career, as I thought it would somehow be career limiting. It was a good mistake to make as I realised – having subsequently joined companies that were encouraging of me being open and transparent about my whole life – that I will never again work somewhere that isn’t like that.
“Life is too short to have to not be yourself at work every day”
Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
I guess I could say I was most challenged earlier in my career. I grew up in a small town of 10,000 people, a place where, at the time, nobody was public about being LGBT+. After moving to Melbourne to go to university, I was surrounded by all sorts of diversity and had my first real encounters with interesting, creative, intelligent people, who also happened to be LGBT+.
At my first full-time professional job after graduating, my manager used to put on a lisp when he would talk about a gay colleague, or make homophobic jokes. He was a lovely guy who I was learning so much from professionally, but his behaviour made me feel like being out in the workplace was not a recipe for career success. So, I stayed in the closet for years working there. Little did he know, three of the five of us around the table on his team were LGBT+ which just demonstrated how short-sighted he was. Thankfully, every other company that I have since worked for has been the complete opposite, and I have been fully transparent about who I am every day. A supportive and open environment where people are encouraged to bring their whole self to work will do that.
One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
I think the live event industry could be more active in supporting diversity in general. We work in an industry that aims to entertain the entire population. And that population is made of extremely diverse audiences.
I’m impressed by events like Mighty Hoopla here in London, crafted specifically for the LGBT+ community, that have become so incredibly popular. I hope their success inspires other promoters to take the lead in creating more offerings like this for our community.
“I hope [Mighty Hoopla’s] success inspires other promoters to take the lead in creating more offerings for our community”
A cause you support
I make myself available internally at Ticketmaster for mentorship which is something incredibly important to me. I’ve been fortunate to have mentors myself early on in my career who were remarkable, so I like to pay it forward to anyone looking to grow and wanting advice or to bounce ideas off. I’m fortunate to work in a vibrant, global company full of amazing diversity, so I feel it’s important that I am available to my colleagues, wherever they are in the world.
I have also been vegetarian since I was 13 years old and vegan for the past ten years. So, I’m also part of another minority group of sorts. As part of my vegan advocacy work, I reach out to businesses that offer limited choices for those following plant-based diets in order to try to convince them to introduce more options to help people like me and save the animals.
The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Todrick Hall. He’s doing amazing things to show that you can be yourself and achieve immense success if you live life fully transparently. His career growth is impressive and I hope he inspires more artists to own their identity and weave it into their craft, truly putting it at the forefront of their public presence.
Your favourite queer space
I live in Central London so The Duke of Wellington in Soho is my go-to place for a beer after my Friday night spin class with my fellow workout buddies.
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