OutCaster Brianna writing an Overtime (we call it OT — very original, got it). It was a hot summer night in 2016 and we were working outside.
OutCasting's spot for commentaries, discussions, and more.
May — The ridiculousness of "Straight Pride"
April — Supreme Court justices attack marriage equality
February — Oversexualizing gay identity
January — The deeper meaning of a parody of a Pence family children’s book
December — How anti-LGBTQ violence affects youth
November — Why LGBTQ youth have to lie
October — Experiencing gender from both sides
September — Considering the context of statistics about LGBTQ youth
August — "It's not my responsibility to educate you."
July — What happens when parents are unaccepting
June — An LGBTQ teenager's evolving relationship with NYC Pride
May — What does a straight teenager do when he sees a lesbian schoolmate being taunted – and why?
April — Inclusivity in schools and Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law
March — Gatekeeping within the LGBTQ community
February — The death of Desmond Tutu and the continuing importance of youth activism
January — When LGBTQ people are politically conservative
December — "The most wonderful time of the year!"
November — LGBTQ youth in school locker rooms
October — The lack of LGBTQ inclusive sex education
September — Slurs against LGBTQ+ people
August — The male gaze and performative bisexuality
July — HIV at 40 and how youth lose by not learning about its context
June — Pride and the LGBTQ community
May — The pope's apparent change in direction?
April — Bullied seventh grader
March — A teen take on rainbow capitalism
February — A cisgender teen explores how he presents himself to the world
January — Dating support systems for LGBTQ youth
December — The 2020 Election: LGBTQ candidates, LGBTQ youth
November — Supreme Court Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Alito, issues statement attacking marriage equality in favor of religious liberty
October — RBG's legacy for LGBTQ youth
September — Using Covid quarantine for self-exploration
August — OutCasters go to a #BlackLivesMatter protest
July — Black gay teen reflects on #BlackLivesMatter
June — Remembering Larry Kramer
April — Covid-19 and AIDS — similarities and notable differences
March — Superficial LGBTQ representation in recent Disney movies
February — the importance of teaching LGBTQ history in schools
November, December — Gender dysphoria
October — Oversexualizing gay identity
September — Becoming a passionate straight ally at OutCasting
August — "Straight Pride." Yes, really.
July — addressing a queer stereotype
June — Stonewall 50: The importance of knowing LGBTQ history
May — trans people in public bathrooms
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
August — dating while queer in high school
July — YouTube tagging trans content as unsuitable
June — appropriation of LGBTQ culture
April — was Alexander the Great gay?
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
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
August — Republican party platform
June — why LGBTQ youth have to lie
May — gender fluidity and dysphoria
December 2022 — We had hoped to bring you a holiday-themed OutCasting Overtime this month, but yet another mass shooting – this one at Club Q in Colorado Springs on November 19, 2022 – prompts us to reflect again on the effect that violence against the LGBTQ community has on kids.
Right-wing politicians continue their unrelenting attack on LGBTQ people. They also block any meaningful gun control, no matter how many mass murders occur in this country. And then they disingenuously disclaim any responsibility when something like this happens.
In this edition, originally presented in July 2016, OutCasting youth broadcaster 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.
November 1, 2022 — In the last couple of years, right-wing politicians have launched new attacks on LGBTQ kids, trans kids in particular. These politicians say: these kids shouldn't be allowed to play school sports; their parents should be investigated for child abuse; and as part of the "parental rights" movement, school personnel should out them to their parents.
Couldn't that expose kids to danger in the very settings in which they're supposed to feel most loved and accepted? If kids felt safe telling their parents about their LGBTQ identities, wouldn't they already have told them? And isn't this just a transparently cruel attempt to keep LGBTQ kids in the closet and make them lie about who they are — keeping them alone and invisible?
In light of these attacks, we hear directly from Brianna, a young LGBTQ person and OutCasting youth broadcaster, about why she felt forced to lie when talking with members of her family.
October 1, 2022 — OutCasting youth broadcaster Declan was born and raised as a girl, but he’s trans masculine. What has he found out from living on both sides of the gender "fence"?
September 1, 2022 — Statistics show that LGBTQ youth are at much higher risk of self-harm than non-LGBTQ youth. Among the many reasons are bullying, unaccepting families, and discriminatory policies. But sometimes, bad things can happen even when these risk factors aren’t happening. In this piece, OutCaster Isha talks about the human realities behind the statistics.
August 1, 2022 — It can be an unfair burden when LGBTQ teenagers are asked by friends and family to be “the authority” about LGBTQ issues. But what happens if they prefer not to be? OutCaster Declan considers this sometimes delicate issue.
July 1, 2022 — Youth broadcaster Carys talks about the hellish life of her friend Darwin, whose trans identity is rejected by his family. The emptiness left behind can be devastating.
June 2022 — Youth broadcaster Shoshana attended her first NYC Pride march when she was 12. What has she learned since then, and how has it affected her understanding of why we celebrate Pride?
May 1, 2022 — Meet Tomás, one of our newest OutCasters. On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, he talks about being called gay as a five year old and how that helped sensitize him to the cause of LGBTQ equality as a straight ally.
April 1, 2022 – Florida Republicans assert that the state's public schools have "become what are essentially grooming centers of gender identity radicals." They claim to be upholding freedom of speech and keeping censorship at bay. They say that empowering parents to play an active role in education will stop children from being indoctrinated by the "appalling," "frightening," "disgusting," and "despicable" things being taught in schools. And their use of the word “grooming,” long associated with the horrors of child sexual abuse, is hardly coincidental.
The proponents of this misguided new law call it the "Parental Rights in Education" law. Critics say it will limit or prohibit discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida schools. Signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), it's one of many new actions around the country that viciously target LGBTQ youth.
On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, we deconstruct the narrative around this new Florida law, which we think is a twisted combination of LGBTQ-phobia and political point-scoring that harms children and, hypocritically, censors school personnel.
March 1, 2022 – Some older LGBTQ people complain that today’s more accepting environment makes things too easy for the new generation. Some people say that young trans people aren’t “trans enough” if they don’t want to transition medically. These are examples of gatekeeping – the idea that you have to earn your place in the LGBTQ community. OutCaster Carol considers how this can harm LGBTQ youth.
February 1, 2022 – Desmond Tutu died at the age of 90 in December. Honored by the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Tutu was an activist of towering importance. In thinking about Tutu’s life, OutCaster Tim considers his own place in the world of activism.
January 1, 2022 — There may not be an inherent contradiction between being LGBTQ and holding conservative political beliefs. You can surely be trans and oppose regulation of guns. Lesbian and favor deregulation. Gay and oppose abortion. So why don’t many LGBTQ conservatives feel at home in the LGBTQ community? OutCaster Tim considers.
December 1, 2021 — It’s the holidays, a time when extended families often get together, a time when well-meaning relatives who haven’t seen you for a while might ask, “So — are you seeing anyone?”
Straight, cisgender teenagers might find the situation awkward – or maybe not. Maybe they’re in a new relationship and they can’t wait to talk about it.
But if you’re young and LGBTQ, that seemingly innocent question can open up a minefield. What if you’re out only to your immediate family? Do you want to be put on the spot like that? Do your parents think you should “just not mention it”? Will they blame you if there’s a big blowup? Even worse: What if you’re not out at all?
Sarah shares the thoughts of the OutCasting team.
November 1, 2021 — The conventional wisdom is that LGBTQ kids in school locker rooms and bathrooms are a threat to so-called supposedly “normal” kids. Parents who assume that their kids are cisgender and heterosexual get outraged, and states try to enact controversial laws to separate kids they think may be sexual predators — just because these kids are LGBTQ.
But what if the reality lies in the opposite direction? What if the LGBTQ kids are the ones who feel uneasy or even threatened in these situations? OutCaster Brian comments.
October 1, 2021 — Few things in American schools are more controversial than sex education. In some states, it’s difficult to persuade lawmakers to allow anything more than abstinence-only education.
But sex education programs rarely address the needs of LGBTQ youth. What does this lead to in the world – and in the lives of these young people? OutCaster Justin comments.
September 1, 2021 – We’ve all heard them. Some of us have said them. The actor Matt Damon says he just recently stopped after his young daughter complained to him.
Slurs have been used against every minority. In some cases, they’ve been reclaimed. What’s the history of some of the most common anti-LGBTQ slurs? How does the new generation of young LGBTQ people think about them? Is it OK for LGBTQ people to use them? What about straight cisgender people – it is OK for them to use them? OutCaster Chris reads this commentary, which was written by him along with OutCasters Lil and Sarah.
August 1, 2021 – The media objectify women. There's nothing new about that. But there are real-world consequences for women, and as OutCaster Isha notes, these consequences can be particularly pronounced — and even potentially dangerous — for LGBTQ women.
July 1, 2021 – We observe a dark anniversary: forty years ago this month, The New York Times published the first mainstream press article about the pandemic now known as HIV/AIDS. Today, kids learn about it merely as another STI. OutCaster Lil considers what's lost when the homophobic context in which the pandemic unfolded is excluded from students' education.
June 1, 2021 – It's June and time to celebrate LGBTQ Pride. But exactly what do we celebrate, and is the LGBTQ community one big happy family? In this commentary from the OutCasting team, Rose explores issues within the community as well as the things that unite us.
Image: Mercedes Mehling / Unsplash
May 1, 2021 – During the last several years, Pope Francis has made numerous statements that seem supportive of LGBTQ people. In March, the Vatican released a statement, approved by the pope, that looks like a change in direction. OutCaster Isha reflects on how this can affect LGBTQ youth -- and LGBTQ people in and out of the Catholic Church worldwide.
April 1, 2021 – LGBTQ youth are at highly increased risk of being bullied, and it happened to Justin, an OutCasting youth participant, when he was in seventh grade. In this first-person account, hear how it affected him, what it meant to him to have a sensitive teacher who stood up for him, and what he learned from it.
March 1, 2021 – A few months ago, OutCaster Vivian was shopping and saw a T-shirt with a rainbow on it – for $40.00.
It got her thinking. A lot of businesses are doing things like that: selling LGBTQ-branded merchandise, flying rainbow flags, marching in Pride parades. That’s great – but is it enough?
In this piece, Vivian mentions an LGBTQ-supportive ad from Doritos. Watch it here.
February 1, 2021 – The term "cisgender" refers to people whose self-identification aligns with their physical sex -- so it's sort of the opposite of transgender, where there's a conflict between those two things.
But does being cisgender limit how you dress? Does it make you "a little transgender" if you're a male and you're interested in clothing more typically worn by females, or are you just a cisgender male with expansive tastes? Can your gender expression differ from your gender identity? And does it matter whether you're Black?
In this piece, OutCaster Justin, who describes himself as cisgender, talks about how wearing only male-identified clothes makes him feel limited.
January 1, 2021 – Dating while you're young can be fun, exhilarating, and awkward all at the same time. But straight teenagers can talk with their friends and hopefully their families about what they're experiencing. They get affirmation from those around them and their confidence in themselves grows.
But when you're LGBTQ, your friends may be uncomfortable talking about same-sex relationships, and with parents, it can be dangerous for some kids to come out at all, let alone talk about their relationships. So where can they turn?
On this edition, Vivian speaks for the OutCasting team about where LGBTQ teens can turn for support and gives advice to straight friends, parents, and school personnel about how they can be good allies.
December 1, 2020 – In the November election, voters from states including Delaware, Georgia, Tennessee, Vermont, and New York elected LGBTQ candidates to state and federal office. This obviously means that more LGBTQ perspectives are going to be heard in the legislative process – but what is the message heard by LGBTQ youth, especially those who may be struggling? Justin shares the perspectives of the OutCasting team.
November 1, 2020 — On October 5, 2020, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, issued an attack on marriage equality. Though it came as a statement without binding legal effect, it may foreshadow the repealing or scaling back of an important right we thought we had won in the Obergefell case in 2015, especially with an even larger conservative majority now on the court. OutCaster Lil presents the views of the OutCasting team.
Read the Thomas-Alito statement with OutCasting's commentary.
October 1, 2020 – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court died on September 18, 2020. She was a civil rights icon and sided with the majority in every major LGBTQ rights case that came before the Court during her 27 year tenure. If President Trump fills her seat with another conservative, the Court could potentially turn back the clock on the LGBTQ advancements we've won by, for example, further elevating religious liberty over LGBTQ equality, an issue that we're talking about on our current OutCasting series. On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, OutCaster Chris considers Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy to LGBTQ youth.
September 1, 2020 – The Covid quarantine has been isolating for most of us and depressing for many, even as it's been necessary to the effort to contain Covid in the United States. It has separated families and friends and kept people away from their loved ones during times of illness and death. But for OutCaster Lucas, the time he's spent not connected with his peers has given him time to explore aspects of himself that he didn't have when life was normal.
August 1, 2020 – Protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have been taking place across the U.S. since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. OutCaster Lucas attended one in early June and interviewed some of the people there.
VIDEO —This edition of OutCasting Overtime is also available as a slideshow with photographs by OutCaster Justin. Watch it here.
Image at right by Justin.
July 1, 2020 – Following the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, and other similar killings, the Black Lives Matter movement has roared into sustained public consciousness through ongoing protests around the nation. In this edition of OutCasting Overtime, OutCaster Justin, who is Black and gay, considers the systemic racism in the United States that contributes to these killings and interviews the founder of What About Us?, a local activist organization in suburban New York.
June 1, 2020 – Larry Kramer died on May 27, 2020. He was an author, screenwriter, and playwright, but was perhaps best known as a towering if controversial figure in AIDS activism. In 1983, he co-founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), an organization that serves the needs of people with AIDS. In 1987, he co-founded ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), an activist group committed to direct action to end the AIDS pandemic.
On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, OutCaster Sarah reflects on the life and activism of this complex and often contradictory man and his relevance to young LGBTQ people today.
Andy Humm, who joined us in the summer of 2019 in our series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, wrote a powerful and nuanced remembrance of Larry Kramer in the NYC paper Gay City News. Read it here.
1,112 and Counting (by Larry Kramer, March 1983)
This Way Out, the International LGBT Radio Magazine — Listen (Larry Kramer coverage starts at 11:37)
Larry Kramer, Playwright and Outspoken AIDS Activist, Dies at 84 (The New York Times)
Larry Kramer, playwright and AIDS activist, dies at 84 (The Associated Press)
ACT UP/NY's official statement
‘We Loved Each Other’: Fauci Recalls Larry Kramer, Friend and Nemesis (The New York Times)
Anthony Fauci reflects on death of Larry Kramer: ‘He was truly an icon’ (The Washington Blade)
Tony Kushner: Larry Kramer Spoke the Truths We Needed to Hear (The New York Times)
May 1, 2020 — Transgender people often experience something called gender dysphoria — a deep-seated tension and stress because of the difference between their gender identity and the physical sex of their body. An aspect of gender dysphoria that’s not discussed as much as voice dysphoria, something that, among other things, can cause trans people to be hesitant about interacting with others. OutCaster Amalee, who is trans, talks about her experience with voice dysphoria — the sense that her voice is not her own.
April 1, 2020 — OutCaster Chris disagrees with people who say that what we're experiencing now with the COVID-19 outbreak is similar to the outbreak of AIDS in the 1980s.
This commentary refers to an earlier OutCasting series on LGBTQ women in AIDS activism, with activist Ann Northrop. Find it here. After this commentary was produced, we produced a series expanding on the similarities and differences between Covid and AIDS, with activist Jay Blotcher. Find it here.
March 1, 2020 - OutCaster Amalee considers the superficial representation of LGBTQ people in recent Disney movies. Chris reads.
February 1, 2020 — OutCaster Sarah talks about why LGBTQ history should be taught in schools, just like the history of other minorities, and about what it means when your school curriculum ignores your identity.
In this piece, Sarah talks about the pioneering California law that ended the exclusion of LGBTQ history in schools.
On an earlier edition of OutCasting, we interviewws California State Senator Mark Leno, the bill's sponsor. Listen to his interview here.
January 1, 2020 — OutCaster Jamie transferred from a college in upstate New York to a college in their home town. Jamie had been out as nonbinary for years, but as a practical matter, the transfer to their hometown school required Jamie to go back into the closet.
November and December 2019 — OutCasters Kaspar and Andrew, who are transgender, talk about gender dysphoria, whether it's proper to classify it as a mental illness, and whether trans people need to undergo medical transition, including hormone therapy, surgery, or both, to be considered truly trans.
Part 1 — November 2019
October 1, 2019 — In May 2019, the PBS animated children's series "Arthur" released an episode in which a gay couple gets married. It was aired all over the country — except in Alabama, where Alabama Public Television refused to broadcast it. This prompted OutCasters Andrew and Amalee to consider why some people think it's fine for kids to see an age-appropriate depiction of an opposite-sex wedding but not a same-sex one. Andrew reads.
September 1, 2019 — On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, Dhruv talks about his work at OutCasting over a nearly three year period and how it has activated his passion for being a straight ally to LGBTQ people. Being an ally, he says, is much more than just not opposing LGBTQ people.
August 1, 2019 — There’s a “Straight Pride” parade planned for later this month in Boston. The group behind it, "Super Happy Fun America," reportedly has far-right and white nationalist ties. But is it worth getting worked up about? Or could it be something a more sinister sign of more neo-Nazi inspired displays of hate? There's a similar parade that supposed to happen in Modesto, California. In any case, it's too early to know.
So for now, OutCaster Alex takes a look at why the reasoning behind this so-called "Straight Pride" parade is just. Sort of. Ridiculous.
July 1, 2019 — On this edition of OutCasting Overtime, OutCaster Alex addresses a common stereotype about bisexual people: that their identity is just a stepping stone for coming out as solely gay. Alex discusses feeling conflicted about this stereotype, as his coming out experience aligns with it.
June 1, 2019 — OutCaster Andrew talks about why it’s so important to learn LGBTQ history, despite the fact that most people have so little knowledge of it. Understanding history is vital context for understanding LGBTQ people’s places in society and the struggles they face.
May 1, 2019 — 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 1, 2019 — 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 1, 2019 — 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 1, 2019 — 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 1, 2019 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 and Lucas consider the parody and its meaning. Lucas reads.
April 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 1, 2018 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — OutCaster Alex shares his experience trying to balance sounding heterosexual and sounding gay, and the internalized homophobia that comes with it.
June 1, 2017 — 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 — 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. His OutCasting interview was the last one he did.
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 his speech. You can also watch the whole memorial rally in this video.
April 1, 2017 — 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 — 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 — 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 1, 2017 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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.
Image: Simona Sergi / Unsplash
September 1, 2016 — Jamie talks about haircuts and gender norms and talks about their reaction to an incident with one of their day campers.
August 1, 2016 — Sydney reacts to the Republican Party platform, which some have called the most anti-LGBTQ party platform in history.
July 1, 2016 — 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.
She follows up with a reflection in the August 2017 edition.
June 1, 2016 — 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 — 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 OffAir can be heard at http://outcastingmedia.org. It is also available on OutCasting’s podcast: https://mfpg.org/xml/outcasting.xml.
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."
LGBTQ+ issues seen from the rarely heard perspectives of LGBTQ youth and straight allies — not by and for LGBTQ youth, but by LGBTQ youth and straight allies and for anyone who wants to better understand LGBTQ issues — parents, grandparents, kids, relatives, straight, LGBTQ, everyone!
In-depth coverage of LGBTQ issues, featuring discussions with highly authoritative experts and people with compelling stories
OutCasting Overtime »
Working extra hard to bring you commentaries, discussions, and perspectives from our youth participants
OutCasting Off the Clock »
Having fun with the Ga[y]me Show, extra commentaries, and other behind-the scenes stuff
Find OutCasting wherever you get your podcasts
Our groundbreaking LGBTQ youth program, nationally distributed on the Pacifica Radio Network, all major podcast sites, and here at MFPG.org.
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