Queer FM first started in January 2010, by Angela Malin, who recently graduated from Birmingham City University with a first class degree in Media and Communication. The station currently has a series of podcasts to listen to and downloads which are also available on iTunes. Further development is underway for a live streaming station in the near future.
The station developed from a university final year project where a group of media students were asked to create a radio station that fills a gap in the market that would run for one week. The team’s research found that there were no radio stations for the gay community in Birmingham that supplied more than just dance music and minor chat. From this research they developed ‘Cheeky Rainbow’ a radio station that provided a platform for the LGBT community to interact. Angela was heavily involved in this project being gay herself and having a wide experience of the gay scene. Along with the market research that was conducted, and the positive responses from the local bars and retail outlets Angela concluded that a permanent station like this would provide a platform for gay businesses and an opportunity for the gay community to interact, particularly those who are gay but do not wish to participate in the “gay village club scene”. The listeners of Cheeky Rainbow were disappointed that the station would only be running for one week so Angela transformed the idea into Queer FM, to develop a station for a community that she is closely involved in and where she aims to help and support people in society that need a voice.
In terms of content, Queer FM is creating podcasts about gay community groups and events in Birmingham, in particular International Women’s Week and The Shout Festival. Queer FM is looking into developing this into a live online stream when we have available funds. This will include, music from lots of genres including, Pop, 80’s 90’s , dance, indie and rock, as well as advice shows, particularly gay sexual health, as well as comedy and chat shows.
Currently Queer FM has no funding, but has support from Birmingham City University, Birmingham LGBT Community Trust and a small team of volunteers. Angela is trying to gain funding from several sources as she is passionate about providing a good service to the gay community to fill this niche in the market.
To our knowledge Queer FM is the first online LGBT, community focused radio station in the West Midlands, with live podcasts available on www.queer-fm.com
So far Queer FM has received unanimously positive feedback from the LGBT community, the content aims to promote people in this diverse community, and a number of people have said that this station is exactly what the West Midlands needs.