Radio drama promotes acceptance of LGBT youth

SF State's Family Acceptance Project (FAP) has used its research findings to help create a Spanish-language radio drama, designed specifically to reach California's Latino families with stories about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) acceptance and equality.

Family Acceptance Project logo

The three-part radionovela(radio soap opera) aims to prompt discussions in Latino communities on issues that may not be easily or frequently talked about -- topics such as coming out, bullying and acceptance of LGBT family members.

The series draws on the Family Acceptance Project's research on how family reactions to a young person's sexual orientation and gender identity impacts their health and well being, for example the impact of parents who welcome their child's gay or transgender friends to family events versus parents who try to change or discourage their child’s LGBT identity .

"Our research indicates that family acceptance and rejection have  a profound impact on the health and mental health of Latino LGBT young people, including suicidal behavior, depression, substance abuse, HIV, STDs and self-esteem," said Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project. "We believe this series will have both a health and social impact, helping Latino families to support their LGBT family members."

Titled Bienvenidos a Casa (Welcome Home), the series follows the story of a teenage boy who is bullied because he is gay, and his mother's journey from rejection to acceptance of her son. FAP’s Project Coordinator, Jorge Sanchez, directed field work for the radio dramas and convened focus groups in Salinas, Calif., where Latino community members helped craft the storylines and script, and were later involved as voice actors for the series. 

Producing the series was a collaborative effort among the Family Acceptance Project, the National Center for Lesbian RightsCalifornia Rural Legal Assistance andRadio Bilingüe, a non-profit network of Spanish-language radio stations.

"This community-academy collaboration is another great opportunity for us to apply our research to foster positive social change," Ryan said.

Bienvenidos a Casa will premiere between 6-7 p.m. Feb. 11, 2011 on Radio Bilingüe’s "Rock-in da House" show. For details, see: http://www.radiobilingue.org/

The radio series will air multiple times on the following Radio Bilingüe network stations from Feb. 11 through March 31:

  • KSJV 91.5 FM - Fresno
  • KMPO 88.7 FM - Modesto/Stockton
  • KTQX 90.1 FM - Bakersfield
  • KHDC 90.9 FM - Salinas
  • KUBO 88.7 FM - El Centro
  • KVUH 88.5 FM - Laytonville/Mendocino

-- Elaine Bible