Meet the LGBTQ youth and straight allies who create OutCasting — and watch this video and this one of OutCasters talking about what working on the show means to them. Working with professional guidance, training, and supervision, these young adults come up with topics, research issues, book guests, prepare and conduct interviews, write scripts, edit and produce the show, create videos, and more. Along the way, they gain substantive knowledge on the topics OutCasting covers. As The Advocate noted:
In-depth, well researched, and punchy in the right ways... NPR-level production values.... What makes all this remarkable is that most of the people working on the show... are barely old enough to drive."
And from GLAAD:
some of the most honest and accurate representations of LGBT and allied youth in the media.
Our main studio in Westchester County, New York, just north of New York City, is headed by Marc Sophos with Assistant Producer Alex Mintz. Our bureau at Michigan State University is assisted by faculty advisors Mark Waddell, Juan Mundel, Jessica Francis, and Geri Alumit Zeldes.
Some OutCasters have trans, fluid, and non-binary gender identifications. Some of them use traditional he/him and she/her pronouns; others use the singular they/them. Pronoun choice is important to self-identification, and the pronouns OutCasters choose are the ones we use.
Some OutCasting youth participants prefer to remain anonymous and are not included here.
OutCasters with asterisks were members of the founding group of OutCasters in 2011.
IN OUR MAIN STUDIO (WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK)
Jamie is a senior in high school who enjoys being a part of the OutCasting experience. Their main passion is music, specifically singing, and would eventually like to use their skills for the benefit of the show. Jamie has participated in radio and television production since they were in the 6th grade, and continue to enjoy it. As a gender fluid teenager, they feel that the mission of OutCasting is one that is both personal and significant.
Outcasting's most interesting OutCaster in the world, Dante has been a member since his senior year of high school in 2015. Dante is currently the only known asexual member in OutCasting's main studio. He came to Outcasting after a miscommunication with some friends caused him to learn about Outcasting after attending a full session, completely confused. He joined Outcasting to help better understand issues faced by the community.
Brianna is a graduating senior who will be attending SUNY New Paltz to study English. She joined Outcasting in July of 2015 and loves the work she has been able to do through the show. She enjoys loud music, slam poetry, and competitive swimming.
Josh is a freelance writer who identifies under LGBTQ. He has a great passion for technology and learning about it. He enjoys writing fiction and reading fiction story in the fantasy or horror genre. He draws sometimes, but doubts his art skills. Josh loves to call people out on their opinion and make you really think about where you stand on something.
Alex is a sophomore at Edgemont High School and joined OutCasting in Fall 2016. His main interests are track and field and writing. He is grateful to be able to support his community in any way he can.
Ian Cooper-Smith is a student currently studying at Manhattanville College. Ian is a history major, straight ally, and a noob, and joined in May 2017. He is a youth activist with Black Lives Matter.
Andrea is a sophomore at Edgemont High School. She is a student athlete who plays soccer and runs track. She joined Outcasting in March 2017 in order to be an active member of the LGBTQ community and help to raise education and awareness across the country.
Sarah is a senior at Croton Harmon High School, and will attend Barnard College next year. She plans to study biology and Spanish and go into medicine. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and watch cult classic sitcoms. She joined OutCasting the winter of 2016 to connect with the LGBT community in real life. In this era, simply existing as an LGBT person is a radical action, and activism and public education are more important than ever.
Dhruv is a sophomore at Edgemont High School, and joined Outcasting in Fall 2016. He wants to support the LGBTQ community at OutCasting. He also wants to learn more about audio engineering and how radio shows are produced. His passions include online shopping and small dogs.
Lauren joined OutCasting after the 2016 election, as a way to help the LGBTQ community. OutCasting gives LGBTQ youth a voice, which is much needed at the moment (and always). Being queer herself, Lauren believes it is important to share that perspective — it’s important for straight people to hear about queer issues, so that they will care, and it is especially important for young LGBTQ people to hear this voice. That way, they know they are not alone. Lauren has always loved writing, and loves that OutCasting gives her a way to use her writing skills for something she cares about. In the future, she hopes to study history and to continue being involved with the LGBTQ community. Outside of OutCasting, she likes writing, playing ukulele, and putting little rainbow stickers on literally everything she can.
Callie is a student at Masters who joined OutCasting in 2016. She likes to sing, play piano, and play tennis. She likes being apart of OutCasting because as an LGBT+ person she wants to help educate others on important issues in any way she can.
Also participating in our Main Studio: Adam, Ari, Becca, Janielle, and Jessica.
IN OUR BUREAU AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Jay is a Professional Writing major at Michigan State University and is a member of OutCasting's bureau there. When they graduate, Jay hopes to go into grant writing and communications for a nonprofit focusing on environmental or LGBT+ issues. In their free time, they run a poetry blog and contemplate the incomprehensible vastness of the universe.
Kayl is a bisexual male majoring in Comparative Cultures and Politics with a German minor at Michigan State University. He is a member of James Madison College and the Honors College there as well. Kayl enjoys playing tennis, his clarinet, and his alto sax.
Lucy is a second year student studying Linguistics with a minor in Spanish at Michigan State University. She is also a member of MSU’s Honors College. Lucy enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking, and taking long walks through campus.
Also participating in OutCasting's MSU Bureau: Eve
IN OUR MAIN STUDIO (WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK)
* indicates Founding Member of OutCasting
Travis worked on OutCasting from its inception in 2011. He is a theatre person who writes and performs in various productions. A college student who stayed with us until he left for college in 2014, he looks to pursue theatre in school and one day combine his love of theatre and radio into a fabulous and meaningful product. He returned from college in 2015 to conduct our interview with Christopher Z. Hobson.
Mady is one of OutCasting's founding members, having started in 2011 as a sophomore in high school. She left the program in 2013 to attend college in Boston, and is currently finishing up her undergraduate degree in Expressive Arts Therapy and Women's Studies. Mady holds OutCasting near and dear to her heart not only for the technical experience it provided but also for the opportunities it has presented her with as she continues to work in fields relevant to current social and political issues.
George is one of OutCasting founding members. His most notable contribution was On Air with OutCasting, a short documentary about the program and how it has affected the lives of its volunteers. George directed and edited the film from numerous interview and b-roll footage he shot during his time at OutCasting. George left OutCasting for college in 2013 and continues to make films. He looks back on his time at OutCasting with the fondest of memories.
Juliana is one of the founding members of OutCasting, having started in 2011 as a high school junior. They returned after receiving a B.A. in Communication from Marist College. They have been involved in LGBT activism since joining their high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance during their freshman year in high school. Juliana is also a standup comedian.
Nicole was is a straight ally at OutCasting. She was active in her high school's drama club as a painter, set designer, and lighting engineer and is now majoring in Theatre Design & Technology in college. Nicole was also a tutor for the Big Brother Big Sister program and loves helping the people around her as much as she can. She enjoyed her participation in OutCasting not only for the technological experience but also for knowing that she is making a difference in what is quite possibly the most important social and political movement of her generation.
For Lester, there is a lot to be explored to find his passion and career, especially since he has a taste for both the eccentric as well as the mainstream. He is a tech enthusiast and has a focused interest in media. Lester is a straight ally who likes to stay current with LGBT issues in the media.
Chris is currently a junior in college. He was a member of the OutCasting team from his junior year in high school in 2011 to when he left for college to pursue a career with sound in live theatre in 2013. He is a drummer from time to time and a fan of all music genres. He is enjoying his time in college and has learned a lot during the three years there so far.
David CJ is a queer disabled mentor and advocate. When he was with OutCasting as a high schooler, he was responsible for our sexuality in religion and trans activism episodes.
Now he's passionate about intersectionality, especially as it concerns multiply-marginalized disabled people (disabled LGBT+ people, disabled people of color, folks who are both, etc.). He has been accepted into the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College for his graduate education. He plans to graduate with an MSW with the method of Community Organizing, Planning, and Development.
Andrew is now a college student. He worked at OutCasting from 2014 until he left for college in August 2015. He has been involved with LGBT issues since 2010. His biggest passion is music and he loves getting to work in radio.
Sydney was at OutCasting from 2013 until she left for college in September 2016. She left as a senior in high school who enjoys music and thinks dogs are really cool. Sydney is not quite sure what she wishes to pursue in college and the future, but hopes to do something that matters to others.
Michael is an art student who joined OutCasting as a high school senior. He is interested in LGBTQ+ rights, culture, and media. He loves having the opportunity to work with radio and video equipment and is an enthusiast of technology. He is passionate about art, culture, and communication of all kinds.
During his time at OutCasting, Joe was a high school student who loved making music and writing. As a straight ally, he was extremely excited to be involved with LGBTQ issues and a part of one of the most important civil rights issues today.
Keren joined the outcasting team in May 2014, her senior year of high school. During her senior year, Keren served as the president of her school's Gay Straight Alliance. Now a student at the University of Pittsburgh, her involvement in LGBT*QIA activism is still going strong. She is the president of a Jewish LGBT organization on campus and is receiving a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. In her spare time she does stand-up, travels, and watches as much TV as she can fit in her schedule.
Nicole identifies under the LGBTQ umbrella. OutCasting allowed her to channel her passion for activism and equal rights. She enjoys learning about LGBTQ causes and perspectives that she may not have had before. The learning process is one of the things she found most valuable about participating at Outcasting.
Natasha is a straight ally who wants to help create a better world for the LGBTQ community. Her favorite thing about Outcasting was being able to learn new things through her research for the program and from her peers.
IN OUR NYC BUREAU (2014-2016):
During his time at OutCasting, JT was an electrical engineering undergrad interested in audio and emotions. He's studied the teleology of homosexuality and the metaphysics therein. Bronx, born and raised. Walks on the beach, sure, but not too long. He was a founding member of OutCasting's New York City Bureau.
During his time at OutCasting, Jay was a mechanical engineering grad student researching whale ears. He wants to see a mainstream LGBTQIA movement that centers the most marginalized voices and takes action. He has always lived in Queens, New York, and was a founding member of OutCasting's New York City Bureau.
Elliott is a trans bisexual male. He's a freelance writer who writes fiction and fantasy and is a high school student in New York City. He hopes someday to publish a screeenplay about his struggles growing up trans and bisexual.
Je’Jae is a student at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York, in the Unique and Interdisciplinary studies program majoring in Media and Communication Arts. Je’Jae identifies as a genderqueer/gay individual and does not use any pronouns. Je’Jae was an OutCasting youth participant during 2015 and 2016. Je’Jae's interests include art making, reading, writing, reporting, traveling, and anything related to media. Je’Jae would like to work in the media industry, specifically the entertainment sector, and would love to do screenwriting for a news comedy show.
Khadija was a member of OutCasting in 2015 and 2016. She is a massage student at the Swedish Institute and she enjoys writing, singing, and city life.
Chow became a member of the Harvey Milk High School in February 2016. Starting as an ally of the LGBTQ community and then becoming a part of the community has been one of his best experiences. Chow uses he/him pronouns and enjoys making small cute doodles anywhere possible. Writing has always been a great pastime, but his day also consists of as much music Spotify can offer, getting lost in Manhattan on a daily basis, and exploring the depths of the one and only Barnes and Noble.
An aspiring radio personality and writer, Dontae is an NYC native who joined OutCasting's NYC Bureau to speak on internal and external issues of the LGBT community. Currently, he works for the public access station Bronxnet while attending New York Institute of Technology for Communications Arts. He has a fun, comedic personality that can talk a wall down. Dontae also participates in the Ballroom Scene on his spare time and is a blogger on WordPress.
ALUMNI FROM OUR MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY BUREAU
Alex is a mathematics major and German minor at Michigan State, and he works as a math tutor and teaching assistant. He hopes to move on to graduate school and later become a math professor.
Other MSU Bureau alumni: Naina, Eliot
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