GLBT show educates community: Outloud! advocates for suicide prevention, rights



by Evan Baber

WRFL, UK’s student-run radio station, is home to a show centered on the gay community.

On Friday afternoons when many students are putting the work of the week behind them, a group of students assemble live in-studio and prepare for a serious conversation.

Outloud! has been a part of UK’s radio landscape since fall 2009 and has sparked discussion on topics that matter to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

Vincent Purcell, who hosts Outloud!,  along with a few of his friends,  got the idea to adapt “OUTsource OUTloud,” a program that had previously broadcast on WRFL. The current reincarnation features panel discussions on news both international and local that pertains to what Purcell lumps together as “queer” culture.

Recent topics discussed on the show range from news about the UK Gay Straight Alliance to a conversation about a pride parade in Siberia and the recent suicides of gay students attributed to bullying.

“We believe that the gay rights movement is a part of the greater civil rights movement that has been going on for decades,” Purcell said, also citing a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., saying “No one is free until everyone is free.”

The members of Outloud! hope to change or at least initiate discussion about GLBT  rights, news and viewpoints over the airwaves.

“The simple fact of the matter is that people do still listen to the radio,” Purcell said.  “The gay rights movement doesn’t get much coverage in the national media, let alone in the local media.”

Outloud! attempts to go beyond  idle chatter.  By teaming up with the UK Counseling Center, the show has helped with suicide prevention education among the GLBT community.

While Purcell acknowledges the hard work and technical complexity he and the staff of Outloud! face weekly, he said the efforts of the show truly culminate in the calls and e-mails he receives from listeners whom the show has touched, helped or encouraged.

Outloud! airs on WRFL 88.1 FM Fridays from 3 to 4 p.m.