New LGBTQ+ podcast COMING OUT during Pride Month... 🏳️‍🌈

The first episode of The Out Crowd launched this week 🎙️

Happy Pride Month! June is certainly one of the most colourful months of the year with rainbow flags appearing to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community.

From a means of visibility to a celebration, from politics to parties, Pride Month – like the community it represents – is many, many things.

The LGBTQ+ community exists on a spectrum, covering all kinds of gender identities and sexualities: from lesbian to gay, bisexuals to asexuals, transgender to non-binary, and more.

And we hope to represent all of them in our brand new podcast, The Out Crowd.

This week’s Laudable Podcasts newsletter is dedicated to the podcast that looks at what it means to be LGBTQ+ in 2021.

Host Joe Ali calls The Out Crowd a “labour of love”, explaining the importance of telling authentic LGBT+ stories during Pride Month and beyond.

And I - Dan McLaughlin - also share my insight into the production of the podcast, exploring the origins of Laudable and Reach’s first LGBTQ+ podcast.

So first, we have a message from Joe…

🎙️ A message from The Out Crowd host, Joe Ali

Hello June and to another Pride Month! In partnership with Laudable, Reach PLC is pleased to announce its first ever LGBTQ+ podcast ‘The Out Crowd’ which is available to stream right now.

As a reporter for WalesOnline, passionate about telling authentic LGBTQ+ stories, this venture is a labour of love which we hope is a source of entertainment, education and news for everyone.

Now, Pride isn’t just for four weeks: it’s for life. For a lot of LGBTQ+ people, life can be an uphill battle just for the basic right to be respected and to feel safe.

This historical move in 2021 will give us the chance to branch out and gain the trust in a community which has been the victim of media backlash for decades.

We’re excited to give you a weekly insight into the lives of some extraordinary individuals making a huge difference to extend the rights of LGBTQ+ people here in the UK.

From the rise of conversations in the media surrounding trans people, to the infamous past of the Section 28 era, this podcast is the perfect collision of binge worthy news and important insight. 

I look forward to hearing your feedback and opinions on this new and exciting venture.

- Joe Ali, community reporter and podcast host

🏳️‍🌈 The Out Crowd is OUT of the closet

Thanks, Joe! It is worth echoing that point: the LGBTQ+ community is not just for Pride; we are for life.

And whilst The Out Crowd has launched in June, our LGBTQ+ podcast will be here and queer - and out of the closet - in Pride Month and beyond.

Producing this podcast has been a passion project for me. This is the very first podcast I pitched when I joined the Laudable team, and I am proud that it is out now. (I’ll stop with the puns.)

We have some wonderful guests lined up with absolutely inspirational tales to tell. I was particularly delighted to hear from Lisa Power in our first episode, looking at the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made over the years - and what works still needs to be done.

Lisa is an incredible figure in the community, who has been fighting for equality over the past four decades. In 1989, she co-founded LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall - and one of its first campaigns was against the insidious and discriminatory Section 28 legislation, which prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in councils and schools.

I am part of the Section 28 generation. I was a school kid when the legislation still existed. It was finally repealed in England in 2003, but the damage was already done. Even after this legislative homophobia was lifted, many teachers still felt uncertain and fearful about discussing the LGBTQ+ community in the classroom.

And that’s why Lisa is a legend in my eyes. She fought hard against Section 28, and I hope that her activism - along with many others from Stonewall - has made the lives of LGBTQ+ children just that bit easier.

The production and the subsequent promotion of The Out Crowd has had a personal impact on me. As the podcast came out, so did I.

To most friends and some family, they had been aware of my sexuality - or as Oscar Wilde, my nature. I used the month of June and the promotion of the podcast to state in black and white that I am a bisexual man.

Of course, it barely made a ripple, and has been left largely unnoticed, but you’ll see it in this article in the Manchester Evening News. Just four little words, mostly ignored, but hugely liberating and powerful ones: “As a bisexual man…”

So if you search for my name and my work online, you will now also learn about my sexuality.

I hope, like me, The Out Crowd will encourage members of the LGBTQ+ community to learn about their past and present, and the hopes for the future.

And I hope, like me, it will give them the confidence and the support to make that most audacious but exhilarating of steps: to accept who they are, and to come out of the closet.

Over the next few weeks, you will hear from incredible people from all gender identities and sexualities, telling their inspirational stories. And maybe it will help form your own story with the knowledge that you are never truly alone in this eccentric, brilliantly bonkers community.

Listen to The Out Crowd on Apple

Thank you to Joe Ali for his contribution to the Laudable Podcasts newsletter - and for his fantastic hosting of The Out Crowd.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend - and get the chance to listen to our new LGBTQ+ podcast.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay positive, stay informed, and stay tuned. And of course, stay PROUD. 🏳️‍🌈

- Dan McLaughlin

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