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Four new episodes: Trans people in sports
A special four part series on the issues trans people face in sports, with triathlete Chris Mosier, featured in a 2012 New York Times article and one of The Advocate's 40 Under 40 for 2014, also featured in the film Just Gender. Read about the interview on Outsports.
New at OutCasting
OutCasting interview on Michigan Business Network
(July 3, 2015) OutCasting's founder and executive producer, Marc Sophos, was interviewed on Show Biz Weekly, hosted by Taylor Kelsaw on the Michigan Business Network. Listen »
Episcopalians overwhelmingly vote to allow church weddings for same sex couples
(June 26, 2015) We at OutCasting celebrate the Supreme Court's June 26 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges [pdf] and three related cases legalizing marriage equality nationwide. This is another huge landmark in the march for full equality for LGBTQ people. This would not have been possible without the unrelenting work of those who fought in the courts, those who worked through the political system, and those who worked to educate the American public on these issues through the media and other channels.
But we are also mindful that there is much work still to be done. It is still completely legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in public accommodations, credit, housing, and employment in much of the United States. The transgender rights movement lags woefully behind the LGB rights movement. LGBTQ kids are continuing to kill themselves and are still subject to terrible bullying just for being who the are. Let's celebrate our victory in marriage equality as we keep fighting for equality in all areas.
In the near future, OutCasting will explore continuing opposition to marriage equality coming from those who believe that religious beliefs should override equality.
In the direct sense, of course, OutCasting is part of the movement advocating for full equality for LGBTQ people. But the bigger picture is that our nation will never live up to its ideals until we are all free and equal, and our celebration is tempered by the recent shootings in Charleston. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost. And those of the shooting before that, and the one before that, and on, and on. It's nice that in the wake of this most recent act of violence, some southern states have recognized the meaning that the Confederate flag has for so many and are removing it from state grounds. But flags are mere symbols, and removing the flags is a far cry from confronting the guns issue and racism that permeates large paarts of our nation.
So let's celebrate today and wake up tomorrow with renewed energy to continue the fight. Happy Pride!
Boy Scouts of America president favors policy to allow gay adult leaders, but...
The report states that his proposal would allow churches that sponsor troops to set their own standards based on their religious beliefs — in other words, to continue to discriminate against LGBTQ people. He said, “We must, at all costs, preserve the religious freedom of our church partners" to set leadership standards according to their faith.
As the BSA became known as an organization that litigated all the way to the Supreme Court to defend its right to discriminate, many of its existing troop sponsors withdrew, saying that they could no longer be associated with a discriminatory organization. Conservative churches stepped into the void, as described in OutCasting #17, and according to the Times report, now constitute some 70% of troop-sponsoring organizations. Apparently, these conservative churches didn't have a problem being associated with BSA, and as explained in OC17, this created a major antigay shift in the makeup of the BSA. It also caused corporate funders to withdraw.
Some troops led by LGBTQ-supportive organizations have allowed gay adult leaders, and this policy, if enacted, would mean that BSA wouldn't take action against them, but it would still allow conservative-led troops to continue discriminating.
In view of the panicky reaction among the religious right, which is trying in many states to enshrine discrimination against LGBTQ people in the law in anticipation of the coming marriage equality decision from the Supreme Court (see, most recently, Indiana and Louisiana's Bobby Jindal), can we expect the conservative religious organizations that sponsor troops to do anything other than continue to discriminate? And if this happens, is the proposed new policy likely to have much effect?
Mr. Gates should be applauded for bringing this issue up, but it's hard to see how his proposal, if ultimately adopted, will really resolve the issue.
OutCasting featured in The Advocate
(November 2014) Read about OutCasting in The Advocate! "In-depth, well researched, and punchy in the right ways... NPR-level production values.... What makes all this remarkable is that most of the people working on the show... are barely old enough to drive."
Suicide of trans teen from Ohio
(December 31, 2014) OutCasting executive producer Marc Sophos comments on the December 2014 suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager from Ohio.
Olympic committee adds sexual orientation protection
(December 8, 2014) In an issue covered in OutCasting #21 — whether it was appropriate to hold the Olympics in Russia, a country in which the climate for LGBTQ people is extremely hostile — The Chicago Tribune reports that the International Olympic Committee has added language to the Olympic Charter prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This will presumably reduce the chance that the Olympics will be held in countries with oppressive attitutes toward LGB people. It may be hard to enforce but it's a good start — but what about our transgender friends, who always seem to get left behind when we see these advances?
OutCasting, public radio's groundbreaking LGBTQ youth program, is produced by MFPG — MEDIA FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD, INC., a national nonprofit public media production organization with a local public radio heritage: for many years, it owned and operated a public radio station just north of New York City — WDFH FM 90.3 Westchester Public Radio. As MFPG, we can now focus more intently on production of programming while reaching a vastly larger audience than was possible running a single local public radio station.
Our mission: Giving a national voice to LGBTQ youth, training a new generation of media activists, and contributing to our national discussion of LGBTQ issues.
LISTEN — You can hear OutCasting here on MFPG.org and via iTunes. And hear the show on public radio: OutCasting is distributed nationally on the Pacifica Radio Network and can be heard on public radio stations around the country.
SUPPORT — We need your support to produce this program. Please make your tax-deductible gift now!
And if you're a possible major individual donor or a foundation or a business that wants to support the LGBTQ community through OutCasting, please see our special message for you.
NEW BOARD MEMBERS — We are in the looking for highly qualified people to join MFPG's Board of Directors. Qualified applicants should have previous non-profit board experience and a strong and supportive interest in LGBTQ issues. Please contact us if you're interested in applying.
OUTCASTING YOUTH PARTICIPANTS — We're always looking for new youth participants for OutCasting — LGBTQ youth and straight allies of high school or college age who can attend weekly production sessions in our studios in Yonkers, N.Y., or lower Manhattan. If you're interested in becoming a youth participant, read the info and then send us an e-mail or contact us via Facebook.