December 18, 2014

The Rainbow Minute

Photo of The Rainbow Minute

WHAT WE’RE ABOUT: “The Rainbow Minute” is a radio show about gay and lesbian heroes, history and culture. Our series of one-minute episodes feature true stories about extraordinary members of the LGBT community, past and present. Naturally, some episodes are devoted to those who made tremendous sacrifices in the fight for equality. And other episodes touch on the many intriguing facets of gay culture.

We’re certain that our listeners will be inspired by these individual stories of courage, hope, compassion, intellect, artistry, wit, joy, and of course, love.In a larger sense, “The Rainbow Minute” is a means of fighting homophobia as we travel toward equality. Our weapon is this vast collection of heroes themselves, who have – without question – made this world a better place for everyone. Faced with this truth, we hope to challenge stereotypes, instill compassion, and make the entire gay community even prouder of who they are.

A SNEAK PREVIEW OF A FUTURE EPISODE: “Casualties of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” coming up now on “The Rainbow Minute.” On February 24, 2010, Congressman Jim Moran read an emotional letter on the floor of the House of Representatives. It was from a gay serviceman whose unit had lost one of their comrades in an IED attack, and later learned he was gay. The revelation came when the partner of the deceased gay soldier had written the unit to say how much the victim loved the military and that they were the only family he had ever known. The very first publicly known case of a gay soldier being killed in the Middle East was Army Major Alan Rogers, who died while on patrol in Iraq in January of 2008. The very nature of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy makes the total number of gay service members unknown. Statisticians, however, estimate that more than 200 gay and lesbian service members have been killed.

HOW THE RAINBOW MINUTE WAS BORN: In February of 2005, retired public school teacher Judd Proctor was out running errands, when he happened to tune in to “This Way Out,” a gay and lesbian international news magazine. A gay activist himself, Judd was thrilled that a gay show could make it onto the airwaves in his conservative hometown of Richmond, Virginia. He almost wrecked his car scrambling to see which radio station was broadcasting it.

The dial said 97.3 fm.

Judd had never heard of WRIR, but called to thank them for airing the show. He learned that the new community radio station was carrying “This Way Out,” produced in Los Angeles. Within a matter of days, Judd and his partner, Brian Burns, offered to underwrite the show to keep it on the air. That meant they could supply a 30-second “underwriting statement” to be read on the air – an ad of sorts. They chose instead to write a 30-second dedication to Harvey Milk, the 1970’s gay crusader. It was first played on WRIR on February 16, 2005. After the dedication ran for a couple of weeks, a friend at the station suggested they honor their other gay heroes. They researched the renowned architect, Philip Johnson; gay rights pioneer, Barbara Gittings; and decorated soldier, Leonard Matlovich. The dedications were read live – in fact, the board operators fought over reading them.

As the couple broadened their scope to include gay history and culture, they yearned for a longer, more polished segment. In no time, Judd and Brian threw themselves headlong into their new show, “The Rainbow Minute.” With Judd doing the research and mixing, and Brian editing copy, episodes were pre-recorded and set to music. In the spirit of community radio, they tapped an ever-growing list of volunteer readers from the Richmond area.

The first episode of “The Rainbow Minute” aired on WRIR on September 25, 2006. It was titled, “The Stonewall Rebellion.” Just two weeks later, their show was picked up by “This Way Out,” broadcast to over 150 stations worldwide. With a new episode of “The Rainbow Minute” airing every weekday on WRIR, Judd and Brian have produced well over 500 episodes. Collectively, they provide an in-depth look at the fascinating gay world, and the extraordinary people in it.

There are Three Ways to Hear “The Rainbow Minute.” on WRIR – 97.3 fm also streamed at www.wrir.org.

It airs Monday thru Friday at 7:59 am, 12:29 pm, and 4:59 pm.

A special music/entertainment series of “The Rainbow Minute” also airs on these DJ Music Shows:

Monday — 9-11 pm “Louisiana Dance Hall”

Tuesday — 11pm-1am “Party of One” — 5-7 pm “The Lotus Land Show”

Wednesday — 9-11pm “Mercury Falls”

Wednesday — 11pm-1am “Wind in the Pines”

Thursday — 5-7pm “The New Music Machine”

Saturday — 9-11am “British Breakfast”

“This Way Out” the International Lesbian and Gay Radio Magazine, heard on 175 radio station worldwide sometimes plays “The Rainbow Minute” within their show. “This Way Out” airs every Thursday at 4:30pm on WRIR – 97.3fm or at www.wrir.org.

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