THURSDAY, SEPT. 17 — In the last decade, Michigan State University has witnessed a growing number of students who openly self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ). While MSU has made many efforts towards creating resources on campus for LGBTQ students to use, there is always room for more.
The university is now working with “Outcasting,” a public radio youth LGBTQ program based out of New York, to establish a bureau on campus. The MSU bureau of “Outcasting,” planned to open this fall, would serve as a way for LGBTQ students and allies at MSU to share experiences and other media with the national program.
The program is working in collaboration with the MSU LGBT Resource Center and Impact 89FM/WDBM to bring the new bureau to campus.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to tell their stories and produce quality journalism on LGBTQ topics,” said Deanna Hurlbert, director of MSU’s LGBT Resource Center.
“Outcasting,” which is created by nonprofit group Media for Public Good, is broadcast on over 45 radio stations throughout the U.S. as well as streaming online through its website and iTunes radio. The program was established in 2011 by MSU alum Marc Sophos, executive producer and supervisor for both the Westchester County headquarters and New York City bureau.
Produced by LGBTQ students and allies, “Outcasting” focuses on personal stories from LGBTQ youth or allies and open forum discussions with the hope of providing a youthful perspective on nationally debated issues. Over the last four years, the program has covered topics such as bullying, suicide prevention, issues in religion and education, marriage equality, transgender identities and healthy relationships
Special guests on the program have included Olympian Greg Louganis, writer and activist Dan Savage, Athlete Ally member Brian Healey, Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry and transgender athlete Chris Mosier.
Sophos hopes that the MSU bureau will set a precedent for other universities and lead towards establishing similar programs throughout the country.
“We’re very excited about this new alliance with Michigan State,” Sophos said. “This is our first expansion outside of the New York metropolitan area, and it’s going to enable Outcasting to present a wider range of LGBTQ youth experiences and perspectives.”
To learn more about the program, visit mfpg.org.