The Next Thing You Hear ...
Visibility has been a key factor leading to the dramatic advances in the worldwide movement for LGBTQI rights over the last three decades. When the broader community actually sees who lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are, attitudes change. When fearful, threatened, isolated sexual minorities see people like them being out and proud, lives change.
Audibility can be just as vital, as a team of volunteer community radio journalists came to realize while working on the live broadcast of the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1979. The name “Overnight Productions” was suggested by author-activist Kate Millett’s speech at that rally — “It’s the only minority you can join overnight!” — and nine years later “This Way Out” went on the air.
Overnight Productions’ primary goal is “to educate and entertain general audiences through the presentation of information and cultural works …” including “interiews … features … original music, poetry, comedy and dramatic material … entertainment reviews … and news reports of events within or affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (‘LGBTQI’) community.” Our central on-going project is “This Way Out,” a non-commercial weekly half-hour internationally-syndicated radio magazine, and our fundamental principle is to provide distribution of the program free of charge to community radio stations and other non-profit broadcast outlets.
Now heard on over a hundred community stations and other outlets, and available as a free podcast (and by CD subscription for a small charge), “This Way Out” has followed the rise of LBGTQI liberation since 1988, presented the history of sexually- and gender-variant people to give that movement context, and continues to document the steady stream of gains and losses — week by week — in the effort to defeat homophobia and gender oppression around the world. The voices of LGBTQI activists, artists, thinkers and rabble-rousers, the stories of real people facing the challenges of coming out and standing up, the action in the streets and legislatures and courtrooms … all brought to radio listeners in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand — and thanks to the internet, to listeners everywhere on the planet!
“This Way Out” has won awards from the U.S. National Federation Of Community Broadcasters and the Radio and Television News Association, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Parents, Families and Friends Of Lesbians and Gays (P-FLAG), the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), the City of West Hollywood (CA), and Tupilak (Nordic lesbian and gay cultural workers).
Funded almost entirely by individual listener-donors, Overnight Productions has received grants from The Kicking Assets Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Yavana Foundation, The Paul Rapporport Foundation, The Gill Foundation, the Clarissa Pinkola Estes/La Sociedad de Guadalupe Foundation, and the Estate of Christopher David Trentham among others. A few community radio stations make voluntary contributions for broadcasting “This Way Out,” despite the fact that no carriage fee is required. In the interest of maintaining the program’s independence, we have traditionally not sought or accepted corporate underwriting or commercial support. The operation is run by one full-time and two part-time paid staffers; feature producers, news reporters and various technical consultants volunteer their services.