A quarter of a century ago a little radio show called ‘HomoRadio’ premiered on WRPI College Radio. It was the very definition of a grass-roots, bare-bones sort of set-up, and about the only thing it had going for it was a provocative name (and accompanying subject matter) and the passion of its commentators and contributors. That passion soon ignited a steady, dedicated, and ever-expanding group of listeners that now leads to all corners of the world.
Shortly after its inception, I was visiting home from college and fiddling around with the car radio on a Sunday drive when I heard a group of people who sounded like me, who were playing music I liked and knew, and who were talking about gay topics. Like my discovery of xy magazine a few years prior, it was a revelation. It was the moment of understanding that I was less alone than I realized. Galvanized, I tuned in whenever I was in town, and those Sunday mornings helped me understand who I was, and, more importantly, that I had allies and friends in the world, even if I’d never met them.
On any given Sunday, the topics range from the super serious to the super silly (I will never not crack up at Dr. Ray reading a dildo story), and in a span of four hours emotions can run from giddy and elated to heartbreakingly despondent, but through it all the guiding voices, and sometimes dissenting opinions, remind us that even in our differences we are together in this world. Now more than ever there is comfort and healing in that, and for twenty five years we’ve been lucky enough to have this wonderful group of people sharing their thoughts and hopes and dreams and integral information with us.
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Tune in to HomoRadio‘s 25th landmark anniversary broadcast this Sunday, February 5th, from 10 AM until 2 PM eastern time! (You’re also invited to share your memories and stories by calling the studio line during that at 518.276.6248.)
In February of 1992, the local media outlets were positively buzzing about the premiere of “HomoRadio,” a groundbreaking new show on WRPIcollege radio. Bill Clinton was a little known governor of Arkansas at the time with his eye on the White House. It was indeed a different era in every way. The very title of the show was heart stopping in the very starkness of its sound. “HomoRadio?!” Even some members of the gay community were in awe of the choice! Now, a quarter of a century later, various media outlets have reported that the show has grown to be the top rated college program in the world, often rivaling commercial programming!
Executive producer and co-host of the show, Dr. Ray Werking likes to say, “When I started on ‘HomoRadio’ eleven years ago, we used to quip that our audience consisted of two people and a dog. Now, the whole world is listening!” “HomoRadio” has been lovingly referred to in the press as the gay version of the popular ABC-TV daytime talk show “The View.” The show has grown from an initial two hours to a current four hour stint. Nationally known best-selling authors now literally wait in line to discuss their works! The depth, breadth, and spectrum of the popular show is nothing short of amazing!
Werking commented, “We have a huge audience, ranging from middle school and high school gay-straight alliance clubs to a loyal group of folks in an Arizona nursing home who never miss a week. What a ride this has been for a show many thought would never survive!”
Sean McLaughlin, a 20 year veteran volunteer who serves as the show’s program director and engineer said, “I’m very proud of all that ‘HomoRadio’ accomplishes by entertaining, informing, and educating the community with a constantly changing mix of news, interviews, features, and music. It’s amazing to think about how the love that once dare not speak its name is now heard by loyal and dedicated fans all over the world.”
McLaughlin noted several awards the program has been honored with, including a highwater mark in “HomoRadio” history that occurred last June 10th when the program was awarded the coveted “Ally of the Year” Award from GLSEN, The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, a non-profit organization whose goal is providing a safe and respectful learning environment for all K-12 students to learn.
“HomoRadio” consists of news, interviews with local and national guests, event listings, and music by gay-friendly artists. The show kicks off each Sunday with “This Way OUT,” an internationally syndicated news magazine for the gay community.
A team of dedicated volunteers broadcast live to a wide audience filled with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community as well as straight allies every Sunday from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm Eastern Time on WRPI 91.5 FM from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. The show streams live on the web at www.wrpi.org and via an ever-increasing number of smartphone apps, including TuneIn, iTunes and Apple TV.