MFPG is always looking for new OutCasters. If you are of high school or college age and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) or a straight ally, please join us! Opportunities exist in Westchester and at Michigan State University.
OutCasting youth participant Nicole K. in the studio
OutCasting gives a national voice to the LGBTQ youth community with a combination of insight, reflection, respect, and a little humor. We provide a supportive and safe space for LGTBQ youth and straight allies who create OutCasting. MFPG's experienced professional staff works directly with youth participants, training 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 to cover in each edition; scheduling guests; preparing, conducting, and recording interviews; editing and assembling the show for broadcast and online distribution; and promoting the show through press releases, social networking, and other tools.
If you are closeted in some areas of your life, OutCasting is a safe space and we can take steps to protect your identity.
OutCasting holds weekly production sessions in the afternoon or evening at our studios in Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, so you must be able to get there regularly. We are establishing a bureau at Michigan State University, so if you're a student there, you can also join us. More info...
For youth participants, working on OutCasting is much more than just an after-school activity. When asked why this 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.”
If you're interested in joining the OutCasting team in New York's lower Hudson valley or in NYC, please view this video:
To see what other OutCasters have to say about the program, check out our OutCasting videos and read the front-page article [pdf] that ran in the lower Hudson valley's Journal News on the day OutCasting debuted in October 2011. You can also read OutCasting's founding document.
Other OutCasting links:
WHAT OUTCASTERS ARE SAYING
I could never have imagined how huge of an impact radio would have on my life until I started working on OutCasting.
In the past, my passion for LGBT rights was displayed as anger towards oppressors and anti-LGBT activists. It made me furious that my friends and family were being hurt by ignorance and hatred. I was angry at other people for saying and doing these hurtful things, but I was also angry at myself for not doing more to support my loved ones.
OutCasting has provided me with a fun and creative outlet to channel my anger into positivity and education that everyone can use.
Knowing that I’m making a difference through this show is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world, and the people I have become friends with during this process are some of the funniest, most compassionate, and talented people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
I know that I’ll take this experience with me, not only in college, but for the rest of my life. I have gained valuable skills in communication and networking, but I have also gotten to witness my growth as a person and ally. OutCasting has inspired me to carry on activism and radio communications throughout my journey into young adulthood, and I’m so deeply humbled and grateful to have this experience.
What does OutCasting mean to me? As a queer 18 year old girl who is planning on going into the communications field, it's given me a constructive way of articulating issues that impact my daily life, as well as valuable experience for my future career.
But beyond that, OutCasting has given me opportunities to meet and work with people who I can relate to and share ideas with that I would never have had otherwise in high school. I have become much more comfortable in discussing my own queerness as well as my opinions on queer issues in general, now that I've pretty much shared them with the world. There is so much to cover in the world of queer issues, and I feel like we've barely scratched the surface, even with the wide variety of people we've spoken with and topics we've covered.
I am ridiculously proud to say that I've been a part of OutCasting. I hope it continues to be a voice for queer youth, and I hope that when the current members are off to college, the new ones will continue to expand the show. OutCasting should continue to be a voice for queer youth across the sexuality and gender spectrum and continue giving opportunities to students willing to become involved.
I don't see people like me in the media. I don't hear the radio speaking about people like me that are normal out teens that don't have a lot of issues but still on occasion don't feel represented in the world.
Just talking to people about sex ed and relationships has really helped me as I develop. I'm a teenager who dates boys. It's really helpful to have these people answering my questions about dating.
OutCasting kind of deals with the everyday part of things. We may not sometimes tackle the big issues like suicide in every episode but the media seems to only focus on those types of things. But we focus on the everyday things like LGBT people getting representation in court and talking about healthy teen relationships.
The normalization of LGBT youth is what we are about. I think we are still discovering why we need something like this.
I believe that kids today are raised to know what racism is and know what's racist, what's not racist, and I kind of see that in the future kids will learn what's respectful to the LGBT community.
OutCasting is the place I learned to not be afraid of making phone calls. If you asked me to make a business phone call before volunteering at OutCasting, I would've eventually handed the phone to the nearest adult and tried to hide all six feet of me until the phone was hung up. Now I can make phone calls to state legislators and public figures like I'm walking. I even talked to a TV star and thought nothing of it.
OutCasting also helped me to be more comfortable with my sexuality. I would never imagine even telling someone I didn't know about who I love, let alone broadcast it to a potential audience of at least 400,000 people and anyone else who listens to it online, and be not only comfortable doing it but more importantly I'm not scared of telling the public I'm a male who is attracted to other males.
I love having met, talked with, or been audience to so many different people (besides Marc, WDFH's founder and executive producer of OutCasting, and my fellow OutCasters of course) — Dr. Jallen Rix, Joseph Birdsong, Ryan Cassata, and I will never forget hearing the words of Democratic California State Senator Mark Leno, and so many more amazing people. I even got to interview Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Juli Owens, an advocate for the transgender community, Bishop Gene Robinson, who is the first gay man consecrated as an Episcopal bishop, and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who has helped to pass so many laws for New Yorkers and is always working to pass others. I wouldn't have met, talked with, or been audience to any of these people if I hadn't gotten involved with OutCasting.
I love all of the experiences that I have had. I want anyone who can to have experiences like I have had. If someone didn't get to have the opportunity to be a volunteer at OutCasting, they'd never know what they're missing.