Outcasting on WWER
Written by Ted Tait on January 18, 2022
A while back, there was a post in a social media group about our “Outcasting” program on WWER. The person posting called the idea of an LGBTQ show for young people ‘nefarious’ and questioned why such a show would be on WWER. As with many social media interactions, the responses went off on a variety of tangents including some conspiracy theory-like posts. After about a week, the entire thread disappeared from the site, perhaps deleted by an admin. While I had planned to ignore the whole thing, I have since decided that at the heart of it was a genuine question of how did this show get on the air on WWER? I’d like to tell you the story behind that.
On June 1, 2019, WWER went on air. A couple of weeks after that was the River Festival parade and we were invited to participate. It was a great way to help promote the new station. We were located directly behind the gay contingent in the parade. 2019 was the first year there was a gay contingent in the parade and they were warmly received by the crowd (as was WWER) and they won a prize that year.
After the parade some of the participants told me a story from earlier in the day. While waiting to assemble for the parade the gay contingent was approached by some young people who expressed their excitement and joy that there was a gay group in the parade. They were young LGBTQ+ people themselves and were delighted to see representation in the parade. They talked about how they were not visible at school so seeing rainbows in the parade was important to them.
I realized that this was a part of our community that felt invisible and helpless. I was already aware of the Outcasting show and decided it might be something to help serve this unserved portion of our community. I presented the idea to our Program Director and sent him some sample shows to listen to. He agreed that the production of the show was very professional and deserved a slot on the air. That’s how Outcasting was chosen to be on WWER. There is nothing ‘nefarious’ about it.
While we would prefer to run locally produced shows in our talk slot every week, we simply don’t have enough volunteers to do that. The other 3 weeks of each month we struggle to produce new versions of Porch Talk, Town Matters and Talk of the Town. There just aren’t enough people working on these shows. Everyone at WWER is a volunteer, giving their ‘spare’ time to us. It also helps that we were able to get Outcasting for free.
Our recent survey of listeners tells us that while Outcasting does not have a lot of listeners, there are people who singled it out as one of their favorite shows. We have always considered it important to try to provide a wide variety of music and programs to serve Colonial Beach. I hope this helps you to understand why we felt the Outcasting could be an important part of that.
Outcasting can be heard on the third Thursday and Saturday of each month, (including this week):
Thursday at 8PM
Saturday at 9AM