continued from KFAI Network June 2012
In some ways, Fresh Fruit functions as many radio shows do. It seeks out timely guests relating to the news you'd find in other outlets--stories like the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell--or about local artists and upcoming Twin Cities events.
Then there are things on Fresh Fruit you simply wouldn't hear on other stations.
Take music, for example.
"There are very few radio stations that play Out LGBTQ music, especially if it contains queer-specific lyrics, so I make a point of giving air play and voice to queer music, as well," Dixie says. When hosting Fresh Fruit, Dixie chooses music by LGBTQ musicians, singers, and songwriters.
Peter noticed that a person doesn't hear much about queer issues in sports, so he's working on a segment about the Lynx. Lynx player Seimone Augustus is the grand marshall of this year's Pride Parade.
Fresh Fruit is about introducing listeners to the diversity of the LGBTQ community in a new way. With seven rotating hosts, Fresh Fruit has seven fresh ways of looking at the show. And Fresh Fruit chooses diverse guests, with varying genders, identities, and ethnicity.
But there are many realms of diversity. Diversity of ideas is as important to Fresh Fruit as any other kind. And that's found through discussion rather than one-sided argument.
"My approach isn't to challenge [guests of the show]--although I certainly would do that in the appropriate situation. The value is to help our listeners learn more about people they might not interact with otherwise," Peter says.
Peter points to Fresh Fruit's series on Trans issues and a segment on gay Republicans, two topics designed to help listeners understand groups in the queer community they may not know well. "Most people don't really understand why gay people would back the Republican Party," Peter says. But they are still part of the LGBTQ community.
Both Dixie and Peter say hosting the show has brought them closer to grasping the diversity and scope of the LGBTQ community, something that's hard to do--even for Fresh Fruit hosts--without discussion and interaction with real people.
"I hear from many listeners that they are so grateful that a show like Fresh Fruit exists since we cover many queer issues that are not covered in the mainstream media and from a queer perspective. I also hear from our allies, non-LGBTQ people...Fresh Fruit is also a resource for people who...don't feel safe to come out as queer. They can listen to Fresh Fruit and not feel alone or alienated," Dixie says.
That's also one of the goals of Twin Cities Pride. It makes sense that the two would partner to bring the Pride celebration to an even wider audience.
Pride started as a protest march in commemoration of the Stonewall riots of 1969. It's grown and expanded since then, promoting celebration as much as activism. But Fresh Fruit's live broadcast will spend some time on the role Twin Cities Pride Minnesota's history--a history that feels especially relevant this anniversary.
TC Pride's Executive Director Dot Belstler says that while this year's festival is a celebration of the anniversary, there's also important and sobering activism at the center of Pride this year.
"We had been planning even larger celebrations; then the legislature put this [marriage] amendment on the ballot. We've been working with Minnesotans United for All Families to make sure everyone who comes to a Pride event knows about the amendment, registers to vote, and votes no," Dot says.
At the History Pavilion, Dixie and Peter will bring that mixture of celebration and activism to listeners who can't make it to Loring Park. They'll talk with past Fresh Fruit hosts, historian JN Tretter, politicians marching in the parade, Pride performers, LGBTQ leaders, and visitors of the this year's Pride Festival.
"I am most looking forward to meeting all of our guests. The guests are what I love the most about the show, and this is an episode that's on steroids (for numbers of guests planned)," Peter says.
So if you're at Loring Park on June 24th, stop by. Say "hi" to Peter and Dixie. Watch the guests in person. You may even make it on the air.