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OutCasting-New Radio Program for LGBT Youth

September 30, 2011

This past year, the LGBTQ community has seen major advances: marriage equality in New York, the Obama administration’s speaking out against the Defense of Marriage Act, the start of the It Gets Better Project, and the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy. In stark contrast, there have also been several highly publicized teen suicides, including yet another one two weeks ago. Anti-gay groups are currently opposing anti-bullying programs in schools all across the country .

WDFH 90.3 FM, the only community public radio station in New York’s lower Hudson River valley, is working with area teenagers to create OutCasting, a new and unique radio program enabling lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to voice the very real concerns they face on a daily basis. Scheduled to debut on October 6th @ 6:30pm., OutCasting promises to give voice to the LGBTQ youth community with a combination of insight, reflection, respect, and a little humor.
WDFH’s founder and executive director, Marc Sophos, said, “Our country can’t seem to stop tying itself up into knots over LGBTQ issues. There is so much deliberate misinformation out there and it’s hurting and killing kids. We hope that OutCasting will be able to inject some humanism, and specifically an LGBTQ youth perspective, into the media conversation.” He said that OutCasting will be an on-air and online resource for young LGBTQ listeners but that the program is also aimed at a general audience that wants to better understand the complexities of LGBTQ identities.

For the students working on OutCasting, involvement with the program is much more than just an after-school activity. When asked why the show was important to her, Nora, one of the student participants, said, “I’m strengthening my voice as a supporter of LGBTQ rights through radio. Not only am I working for a cause I truly believe in, I’m also developing media skills that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.”

WDFH’s volunteer staff is working directly with the students in the station’s new studio, training these members of a new generation of media activists by teaching them how to produce a regularly scheduled show from concept to broadcast. This includes identifying topics; scheduling guests; preparing, conducting, and recording interviews; editing and assembling the show for broadcast and online distribution; and promoting it through press releases, social networking, and other tools.

The first episode will focus on the role of Gay-Straight Alliances in high schools and will feature a discussion among several of the students involved with the show and an interview with Mary Jane Karger, the Hudson Valley regional co-chair and a national board member of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). Upcoming programs will feature discussions with Dan Savage, the journalist, writer, and columnist who co-founded the It Gets Better Project, and Brian Ellner, one of the main strategists of the successful legislative campaign for marriage equality in New York State.

The show will be broadcast locally on WDFH 90.3 FM in the lower Hudson River valley and on the station’s website, http://wdfh.org, via podcast and on-demand delivery. Due to a recent signal expansion, WDFH can now reach a potential audience of 400,000 people in central and northern Westchester and eastern Rockland. As an affiliate of the Pacifica Radio Network, WDFH plans to share OutCasting with other affiliate stations across the country.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2011 6:03 pm

    OutCasting will debut Thursday October 6th at 6:30 PM.

  2. October 1, 2011 12:36 am

    They just scored an interview with Dan Savage.

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