Paul Wilson and Matthew Linfoot have published a new chapter on ‘Gaywaves: Transcending Boundaries – the Rise and Demise of Britain’s First Gay Radio Program’, in the book Transnationalizing Radio Research (edited by Golo Föllmer and Alexander Badenoch). Transnationalizing Radio Research presents a theoretical and methodological guide for exploring radio’s multiple »global ages«, from its earliest years through its recent digital transformations. It offers radio scholars theoretical tools and concrete case studies for moving beyond national research frames. It gives radio practitioners inspiration for production and archiving, and offers scholars from many disciplines new ways to incorporate radio’s vital voices into work on transnational institutions, communities, histories and identities.
Gaywaves: Transcending Boundaries – the Rise and Demise of Britain’s First Gay Radio Program
At the beginning of 1982, an array of conflicting forces was working to shape the landscape of Europe’s metropolitan radio services, and to alternatively control, commodify or liberate its gay communities. This paper examines the drivers, which inspired Gaywaves, a nascent weekly gay community radio program broadcasting to an inner London audience on pirate station Our Radio from May 1982 until March 1983. Though its primary aim was to inform and connect the disparate and sometimes isolated constituents of London’s gay communities, it also sought to connect with gay and lesbian movements further afield – in Europe and America – in an attempt to harness collective strength and solidarity. Despite the brevity of the Gaywaves experiment, it was nonetheless a significant attempt to foreground gay lives and experiences on radio, and to use the airwaves to make meaningful connections with communities inside and outside their broadcast range.