OT features informal discussions, commentaries, interview clips, and other material to supplement the audio we present in the full broadcast editions of OutCasting. Read the press release below.
April — The importance of pronouns to trans people
March — Importance of transgender-sensitive doctors to trans teenagers
February — OutCaster Alex reflects on his speech at the memorial for Gilbert Baker
January — How increasingly specific labels can divide the LGBTQ community rather than helping it find common ground among its members
December — The importance of having LGBTQ candidates and elected officials
November — Political violence in the Trump era
October — LGBTQ youth suicide
September: "queer" vs. "gay"
August: Dating while queer in high school
July: YouTube tagging trans content as unsuitable
June: appropriation of LGBTQ culture
May: Marlon Bundo
April: was Alexander the Great gay?
March: straight ally
February: hate crimes
January: is it queer enough to be bi?
November: being outed by friends
October: Trump's proposed trans ban in the military
September: anti-gay atrocities in Chechnya
August: Remembering the Pulse massacre and reflecting on the year since
July: "gay voice"
June: coming out of the closet and being forced back in
May: remembering Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag
April: the often harmful practice of "queerbaiting" in entertainment media
March: the Women's Rights Marches, the power of protest, and the connection to the LGBTQ rights movement
February: how to be a good straight ally to the LGBTQ community
January: "Compulsory heterosexuality"
December: OutCasters react to the election
November: Bisexual erasure
October: Coming out
September: Gender norms
August: Republican party platform
July: Orlando Massacre
June: Why LGBTQ youth have to lie
May: Gender fluidity and dysphoria
May 2019 — Trans people in public bathrooms. OutCaster Andrew talks about his experience using public bathrooms as a transgender person, how it relates to the trans community as a whole, and why it’s so important that we respect trans people’s right to use whichever public bathrooms they’re most comfortable in.
April 2019 — The importance of pronouns to trans people. OutCaster Amalee talks about how important it is for people to use the personal pronouns that conform to a person’s gender identity, especially when the person is transgender.
March 2019 — Trans-insensitive doctor. OutCaster Andrew talks about what can go wrong when doctors are uncomfortable with transgender patients or insensitive to their needs, and how a trans-sensitive doctor can make a world of difference.
February 2019 — Alex reflects on his speech about Gilbert Baker. Gilbert Baker, the longtime activist and creator of the rainbow flag, visited OutCasting’s studio just a month before his unexpected death in March 2017. We believe that his interview with OutCaster Alex was his last. Alex was invited to speak at the memorial for Gilbert held in front of the Stonewall Inn in New York City that June. On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, Alex reflects on his speech and his hopes for what it might represent in his life.
January 2019 — Labels. OutCaster Dante comments on increasingly specific labels in use within the LGBTQ community. Do they help by describing people more accurately, or do they tend to separate us and keep us from finding common ground with each other?
December 2018 — The importance of having LGBTQ candidates and elected officials. OutCaster Alex looks at the percentage of U.S. representatives who identify as LGBTQ and the changing diversity in government after November’s election. Without an adequate number of LGBTQ government officials, ensuring equal rights for LGBTQ people is always challenging.
November 2018 — Political violence in the Trump era. OutCasters Dhruv and Lucas consider the connection between recent acts of political violence and our environment of legitimized hate in the Trump era, which puts all minorities, including LGBTQ people, at heightened risk.
October 2018 — LGBTQ youth suicide. OutCasters Dhruv and Lucas talk about the recent suicide of a gay nine-year-old boy and the messaging that needs to come from government and education to help reduce the epidemic suicide rates of LGBTQ youth.
September 2018 — "Queer" vs. "gay." OutCaster Alex talks about how the LGBTQ population has reclaimed the word "queer," long used as a slur against us, and how it may be a better label for him than gay.
August 2018 — Dating while queer in high school. Dating in high school can be confusing enough. "Do you think he likes me?" "Will she think I'm a dork?" "He's a senior and I’m only a freshman. Can I just go up and talk to him?"
But for LGBTQ teens, the challenges can be even more daunting. Issues of outing and even violence can arise. "I like her but she's not paying attention to me. If I tell her I'm interested, will I be outed to the entire school? What if my parents find out?" "He's cute. I wonder if he's gay. If I try to talk to him and he's not, will he and his friends beat me up after school?" And with a much smaller dating pool, it’s harder to find an appropriate partner.
In this month's edition of OutCasting Overtime, youth participants Alex, Andrea, and Lauren talk about all of this and more.
July 2018 — YouTube tagging trans content as unsuitable. OutCasters Lucas and Dhruv consider the implications of YouTube’s algorithms for videos with transgender content. The algorithms, which tag videos with trans content as unsuitable for advertisers, contribute to lower search results and fewer views. They also potentially pair these videos with ads from anti-LGBTQ organizations such as the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. This pairing exposes potentially vulnerable young people to anti-LGBTQ content while they are seeking affirming content.
June 2018 — Appropriation of LGBTQ culture. A group of straight people enter a gay bar but express disgust (or worse) when a gay person person expresses interest. Straight people use phrases that originated in the LGBTQ community without understanding their true meaning or origins. These are just two ways that non-LGBTQ people appropriate LGBTQ culture. Sometimes, this can be harmful to LGBTQ people by reinforcing false stereotypes, perpetuating the assumption that anything other than heterosexuality is abnormal, and reducing sexual orientation and gender identity to a laugh line. In this edition of OutCasting Overtime, youth participant Andrea talks about these issues.
May 2018 — Marlon Bundo. The wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence created a children’s book looking at the vice presidency through the eyes of the family pet rabbit, Marlon Bundo. In response, an author from the political comedy talk show Last Week Tonight parodies the book by recasting Marlon Bundo as a gay bunny who wants to marry another boy bunny. OutCasters Lauren and Lucas consider the parody and its meaning. Lucas reads.
April 2018 — Was Alexander the Great gay? OutCaster Lucas explores how the meaning and social significance of homosexuality have changed and why it may not be appropriate to label as gay historical figures who had same-sex relationships.
March 2018 — Straight ally. OutCasting youth participant Max reflects on his fear of being ignorant and his motivations for becoming a straight ally of the LGBTQ community through his work at OutCasting.
February 2018 — Hate crimes. LGBTQ people are at disproportionate risk of becoming victims of hate crimes. In an essay read by OutCaster Andrea and written by OutCasters Andrea and Dhruv (right), they reflect on the murder of Matthew Shepard 20 years ago and the lack of hate crime laws at the time. They consider how the incidences of hate crimes today affect LGBTQ youth, who must grow up knowing that there are still people who hate them for who they are.
January 1, 2018 — Is it queer enough to be bi? OutCaster Samantha of our Michigan State University bureau wonders: do you have to be a "Perfect Three" on the Kinsey Scale to be truly bisexual, and is bisexuality considered queer enough by the LGBTQ community to belong to the club?
December 1, 2017 — Labels. OutCaster Lauren discusses the impact of labels. She talks about both the security and difficulty that came with using different labels while coming out. Lauren identifies as bisexual and queer — but the latter label hasn’t always been well received. Lauren talks about the history of the word “queer,” and why she uses the labels that she does. She explains why a label can be so important to some LGBTQ teens, and so irrelevant to others.
November 1, 2017 — Being outed by friends. On this edition, OutCasters Callie and Alex share personal stories about being outed by friends, intentionally or otherwise. They speak about people who have made rude and homophobic comments around them, probably not knowing that they identified as LGBTQ. These experiences are common not only to Callie and Alex, but also to LGBTQ youths anywhere, and sharing them can help these people connect to others over their common struggles and find a new sense of community that they couldn’t have found otherwise.
October 1, 2017 — Trump's proposed ban against transgender people in the military. OutCasting youth participant Quinn evaluates the reasoning behind the transgender military ban that president Trump proposed on Twitter. Temporary legislative plans are in place and an opposition within the administration is forming, which may affect the implementation of the official plan in February of 2018. Quinn, who is trans, also shares his feelings about the president's proposed ban. He prefers that his voice not be heard, so Max (pictured) tells the story. Nicia introduces.
September 1, 2017 — Chechnya. Gay and bisexual men in Chechnya are being sought out by the authorities, kidnapped, tortured, and often killled. Homosexuality is seen as a stain on an entire family in the culture there, so Chechen authorities are urging families to cast out they own gay and bisexual relatives, at the same time denying that there are any gay or bisexual people in the country: "You cannot arrest or repress people who just don't exist." In this opinion piece (revised on September 8 to include recent developments), OutCasting youth participant Dante laments the situation and notes that Canada, but not the US, has been quietly accepting refugees.
August 1, 2017 — Pulse massacre remembered. OutCaster Brianna remembers the Pulse massacre in Orlando in June 2016 and reflects on the turbulent changes the LGBTQ community has seen in the 14 months since then.
July 1, 2017 — "Gay voice." OutCaster Alex shares his experience trying to balance sounding heterosexual and sounding gay, and the internalized homophobia that comes with it.
June 1, 2017 — Coming out of the closet, then being forced back in. On this month's edition, OutCaster Emma talks about coming out as bisexual to their* mother, who quickly went through all of the stages of grief except acceptance, called a psychiatrist, and told them "it's just a phase." For five years now, Emma has been forced back into the closet, and sadly, the thought of dating another girl is unthinkable to them as long as they're living at home.
* Emma uses they/them pronouns
May 1, 2017 — Remembering Gilbert Baker. Gilbert Baker was a longtime gay activist, best known for creating the rainbow flag, which has become the most visible symbol of the LGBTQ rights movement. We had the privilege of interviewing him and visiting with him on March 1, 2017. Barely a month later, he died unexpectedly. In this edition of OutCasting Overtime, OutCaster Alex talks about what it means to him to have interviewed Gilbert and gotten to know him. This Overtime edition is linked to the two broadcast editions of OutCasting that contain the interview with Alex and Gilbert.
Gilbert with a group of OutCasting youth participants at our studio — March 1, 2017
Gilbert with OutCasting youth participant Alex in the studio — March 1, 2017
Based on this OutCasting Overtime piece, Alex was invited to be one of nine speakers at the memorial rally for Gilbert in New York City on June 14. Here's a video of him speaking.
April 1, 2017 — Queerbaiting. On this edition of OutCasting OffAir, OutCaster Lucy of our bureau at Michigan State University talks about queerbaiting, a tactic used in some TV shows to hint that certain characters may be LGBTQ, and thus baiting LGBTQ viewers, only to subsequently pull the rug out, putting those characters into opposite-gender relationships, tossing in LGBTQ jokes, or denying in interviews that they ever intended the characters to be anything but straight. This can be a problem for LGBTQ youth who need to see actual LGBTQ characters.
March 1, 2017 — the Women's Rights Marches, the power of protest, and the connection to the LGBTQ rights movement. On this edition, OutCaster Lauren talks about the recent Women's Marches that took place shortly after the inauguration of President Trump. She talks about the history of protest from the women's suffrage movement through the civil rights era and on into the LGBTQ rights movement, and the importance of voting and being in contact with elected officials (click here for contact info).
February 1, 2017 — How to be a good straight ally to the LGBTQ community. On this tenth monthly edition of OutCasting OffAir, OutCasters Callie and Alex bring you the ABCs of being a straight ally to the LGBTQ community.
January 3, 2017 — "Compulsory heterosexuality." Sarah, a youth participant in OutCasting's main studio in Westchester County, NY, talks about her early crushes on boys, how they never felt natural, and the role of "compulsory heterosexuality" in her life.
December 1, 2016 — OutCasters react to the election. The 2016 election is now behind us and fear has struck minorities, including LGBTQ people. At our session the day after election day, our OutCasting youth came in with stories about how people were crying and hugging each other at school earlier that day. On this edition of OutCasting OffAir, four OutCasting youth participants who have just joined the program — Dhruv, Callie, Alex, and Emma — talk about their reactions and fears about increased and legitimized discrimination and Vice President-elect Mike Pence's support of the discredited practice of reparative or conversion therapy.
November 1, 2016 — Bisexual erasure. Mark, a new OutCaster in our main studio in Westchester County, NY, talks about his identity as a bisexual man in Dublin, Ireland, and about the phenomenon of bisexual erasure — the mistaken belief that bisexuality is not a real orientation but rather a temporary self-identification people adopt before they come out as gay.
October 1, 2016 — Coming out. There's no question that it's easier to come out now than it has been in the past — at least for some of today's youth, in some places, in some situations. But is being gay such a non-issue that people shouldn't even have to come out? In this edition, Adam disagrees with friends who say that being gay has no more effect on people than having brown eyes.
September 1, 2016 — Gender norms. Jamie talks about haircuts and gender norms and talks about their reaction to an incident with one of their day campers.
August 1, 2016 — Republican party platform. Sydney reacts to the Republican Party platform, which some have called the most anti-LGBTQ party platform in history.
July 1, 2016 — Orlando massacre. Brianna reacts to the Orlando massacre at the Pulse nightclub and reflects on the differences between the realities occupied by straight people and by LGBTQ people.
June 1, 2016 — Why LGBTQ youth have to lie. Brianna, a youth participant in our home studio in Westchester County, NY, talks about the worst lie she ever had to tell. The opening and closing announcements are voiced by Jay, a youth participant in our bureau at Michigan State University, with production assistance from Impact89FM, WDBM at MSU.
May 1, 2016 — Gender fluidity and dysphoria. Elliot, a 16 year old transgender and bisexual boy (left), and Jay, a genderfluid individual (right), talk about the effects of gender dysphoria in their lives. Both are participants in our NYC Bureau, a collaboration between OutCasting and the Hetrick-Martin Institute. The opening and closing announcements are voiced by Naina, a participant in our bureau at Michigan State University, with production assistance from Impact89FM, WDBM at MSU.
OutCasting Overtime — formerly OutCasting OffAir
In May 2016, OutCasting launched a new monthly online-only series of short essays and commentaries, called OutCasting OffAir. Since then, there has been interest in making the OffAir pieces available for broadcast — which would make them on the air, not off — so a new title was needed. In April 2017, OutCasting OffAir became known as OutCasting Overtime. We hope you'll continue to enjoy these short monthly pieces.
OutCasting Launches OffAir
Online-only content will dive more deeply into issues affecting LGBTQ youth
New York, N.Y. - OutCasting, public radio’s LGBTQ youth program, announced it has launched OutCasting “OffAir” to supplement its existing radio programming. OutCasting OffAir will offer exclusive discussions, audio essays, and more.
“Many news programs are offering online content in addition to interviews and reports which are broadcast,” said Marc Sophos, Executive Producer of OutCasting. “We tackle very complex issues affecting LGBTQ people as seen from a youth perspective and often there’s just not enough airtime available for everything. This new format will grant more information and interviews to listeners, providing even greater context to the issues of the day from the LGBTQ youth that run the program.”
OutCasting OffAir content will include informal discussions, audio essays, and interview excerpts. It will be released monthly as a supplement to on-air content, which is heard on more than 45 public radio stations affiliated with the Pacifica Radio Network.
OutCasting and OutCasting OffAir cover a wide range of LGBTQ topics as seen from a unique youth perspective, including: marriage equality; the growing and often religion-based backlash against LGBTQ people and how it assaults LGBTQ youth in particular; bullying and suicide prevention; transgender issues and gender dysphoria in daily life; ex-gay "reparative" therapy; asexuality; intersex; HIV and other health issues; healthy LGBTQ teen relationships; coming out; LGBTQ stereotypes; and much more.
OutCasting is public radio's LGBTQ youth program, heard online at http://outcastingmedia.org, on iTunes, and on more than 45 public radio stations affiliated with the Pacifica Radio Network. Founded in 2011, OutCasting is based in Westchester County, New York. It has recently opened bureaus in New York City (in cooperation with the Hetrick-Martin Institute) and at Michigan State University. GLAAD said that OutCasting provides "some of the most honest and accurate representations of LGBT and allied youth in the media. And The Advocate said, "In-depth, well research, and punchy in the right ways... NPR-level production values.... What makes all of this remarkable is that most of the people working on the show... are barely old enough to drive."