Scotland’s only LGBTI radio station has launched a crowdfunding campaign
Scotland’s only LGBTI radio station has launched a crowdfunding campaign.
Xpress Radio Scotland hopes to raise £5,000 so it can increase its range of programmes.
Run by a staff of 20 volunteers, it puts out a mixture of live and pre-recorded content 24 hours a day online focussing on LGBTI issues.
Using experienced media professionals it carries news, interviews and discussions about some of the equality issues that perhaps don’t get as much coverage in mainstream media.
Despite only launching in April 2015, the station already has 9,000 listeners, including some from as far afield as the USA.
Like any new business, money is tight, it is still an on-going struggle to meet our bills and cover our costs
The station creator and managing director, former Big Brother housemate Benedict Garrett, says he wants to provide a louder voice for LGBTI Scots following the success of the equal marriage campaign.
"From research conducted in 2014 on media representation in Scotland, people said they wanted a higher profile for the gay community and this is our way of filling that gap,” he told TFN.
"As a self-described "sexual activist", I’ve spent the last few years speaking on national television and radio, writing in various magazines and talking in high-profile debates, fighting for a more open and tolerant attitude in this country when it comes to sex and sexuality.
“Enabling and empowering Scots with a forum that encourages honest, frank and non-heterocentric discussion around issues such as sexuality, diversity and gender, is merely an extension of the work and campaigning I have been part of.”
Station organisers have already met with Alex Neil, cabinet secretary for communities, who has voiced his support.
He said, “I think it’s tremendous – it fills a gap in the market because it’s very difficult, through the mainstream media, for LGBTI people to get their issues across, so I absolutely think this is fulfilling an essential service.
“One of the things we’ve got to do is ensure that the wider community appreciate the value of the LGBTI community and all the good work it’s doing.”
Station organisers want to see lots of interaction with the station which they hope will become a new vehicle for bringing about further change for LGBTI rights in Scotland.
Benedict added: “We encourage input and participation from anyone who wants to get involved, on whatever level - its early days but we’re so excited about this new voice for LGBTI Scots.
“Like any new business, money is tight. We rely entirely on the efforts and talents of volunteers and although we have taken a few advertisers, it is still an on-going struggle to meet our bills and cover our costs at this time.
“We urge members of the public and organisations to pledge their support for our station and its important role in providing a voice and making a positive change within the Scottish LGBTI community."
Those wishing to donate to the station can do so on the Crowdfunder website. A range of rewards are on offer for those doing so.
The station is available 24hrs a day at xpressradio.scot or via the TuneIn app for iOS or Android devices.