Longest running queer news radio show heads to Library of Congress: NPR

The independent radio show This output has covered the global queer community for over 30 years. Now its archives are being transferred to the National Library as part of a radio preservation program.



RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A piece of living LGBTQ history is heading to the Library of Congress.

TO MARTINEZ, HOST:

Independent radio show “This Way Out” has covered the global queer community for over 30 years. Now its archives are being transferred to the National Library as part of a radio preservation program.

(SOUND EXCERPT FROM A RADIO SHOW, “THIS OUTPUT”)

GREG GORDON: Welcome to “This Way Out”, the international magazine for lesbian and gay radio.

MARTIN: “This Way Out” debuted in 1988 on Pacifica station KPFK in Los Angeles. Co-host Lucia Chappelle says that in the 1980s, mainstream media coverage of queer people focused primarily on the AIDS crisis.

LUCIA CHAPPELLE: There was nothing else in our lives. They spoke of our deaths but not of our lives. That was the breakthrough, I think, with “This Way Out”.

MARTINEZ: The show documents the fight for gay and lesbian rights around the world and examines the culture wars at home with journalistic precision and a biting sense of humor.

CHAPPELLE: We are a queer voice, and so we have this side, this something special, an insightful breakthrough from the status quo.

MARTIN: A 1992 show marked the 15th anniversary of Anita Bryant’s anti-gay Save Our Children campaign in Florida. Gay and lesbian activists have organized to defeat the conservative Christian effort, targeting a new anti-discrimination law in Dade County.

(SOUND EXCERPT FROM A RADIO SHOW, “THIS OUTPUT”)

GORDON: Florida orange juice seller Anita Bryant probably did more to advance the cause of lesbian and gay rights than any activist when she led a similar religious fundamentalist campaign to repeal the lesbian and gay rights ordinance in Dade County, Florida.

MARTINEZ: Today, “This Way Out” is the longest running radio news program by and about gay people. And while there’s plenty of LGBTQ media on the internet now, co-host Greg Gordon says the program remains a lifeline.

GORDON: I can tell you, based on the responses – emails and letters – that there are a lot of children, and even older people, still in the closet with no discernible way for them to get in. contact with the community. And we’re very often that kind of lonely voice in the night telling them that they’re okay with being who they are.

MARTIN: “This Way Out” is broadcast on more than 180 community radio stations around the world. And with its archives destined to be preserved, the program will be accessible to researchers, historians and the public for years to come.

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