bloomingOUT is an LGBTQ+ radio show broadcasted on WFHB in Bloomington, Indiana. The show works to cover all aspects of LGBTQ+ life, including history, current events, and more. The show, founded by Carol Fischer and Helen Harrell, first aired on October 7, 2003 and continues to air every Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 PM EST.
The show features interviews with members of the LGBTQ+ and ally community, music, news, and an event calendar. bloomingOUT also features weekly segments including “TransSpotlight.”
bloomingOUT exists to educate, entertain, and stimulate listeners to engage in dialogue about real issues and events relevant to the LGBTQ+ and ally community. We strive to maintain an upbeat, informative, and entertaining show that facilitates communication and can be enjoyed by all. The show offers everyone a clear perspective into the culture, diversity, and humanity of the LGBTQ+ community. Because bloomingOUT is the only such media program in Indiana, and one of the few in the nation, it includes issues, views, and news that do not usually appear in mainstream media. We want to provide a voice for those who are not generally heard and a resource to those who need to hear those voices.
Carol Fischer – Co-founder, Original Producer, Promoter, Activist
Carol Fischer is the co-founder and original producer of bloomingOUT, and has been employed for over 15 years at Indiana University Bloomington at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services office. Carol was the co-founder of Bloomington chapter of Pride at Work and co-founder of Spencer’s PFLAG chapter. She also served as board member and web master of the Bloomington Black Business and Professional Association and is currently on the board of Indiana Equality. Carol has facilitated workshops for over 25 years, participated in panels throughout the state, organized many events, and believes in networking within and outside the community. Through her involvement in the anti-war movement in the 70’s, the disability movement in the 80’s, and her on-going activism, Carol has been in the forefront of social issues since her teenage years. A former nurse, traveler, electrician and Marine, she was also the founder and Director of the Parent Information Resource Center in the 80’s. She is a communicator whose networking extends beyond the local community and includes audiences of LGBTQIA folks around the country. She spends some of her free time landscaping around her country home. One of her favorite past-times is sitting on her pool deck while listening to the birds, and of course playing fetch with her dogs. She is also working with former anchor Helen Harrell to develop a podcast entitled, “Our Outside View” to air within the next year. Stay tuned!
Helen Harrell – Co-founder, Former Show Anchor, Writer, Lecturer, Correspondent, Activist
Helen Harrell is a long-time activist for social justice. She is a former clinical therapist, pre-school teacher, construction worker, union organizer, and co-founder of Bloomington chapter of Pride at Work. She is co-founder and former President of Spencer PFLAG chapter, co-founder of Spencer Pride and is a workshop presenter, free lance writer, columnist, and lecturer. She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology and was working toward a PhD when she left to live the communal life for a few years. Upon returning to “civilization” she became an employee of Indiana University, working at various levels of Administrative and Fiscal Management, first in political science, and then speech communication departments, and is currently affiliated with the African Studies Program. She was the advisor for the undergraduate LGBT student group OUT for 17 years, and served as co-advisor for the American Indian Undergraduate and Native American Graduate Student groups. She has been a member of the Advisory Board for the GLBT Student Support Services Office at IUB since its inception. She served as co-chair of the Community Friends and Resource Network with the Neal Marshall Black Culture Center and served a term as treasurer of the Bloomington Black Business and Professional Association. She is also last, but not least a mother and grandmother who considers herself to be most fortunate to have had the opportunity in assisting WFHB and the bloomingOUT staff with the challenge of educating and illuminating the public in regard to LGBT issues. Her goal is and has always been to eliminate discrimination in any form and to help create a truly just society and world. Her efforts have been recognized by the City of Bloomington as recipient of the 2009 Bloomington Human Rights Commission Award and by WFHB as recipient of their 2010-11 Legacy Award.
Michael Reece – Former Host, Researcher, Author, Educator, Advocate
Michael Reece has a rich history of research, education, and advocacy for the LGBT community, particularly in the area of sexual health. He is Professor and Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies in the School of Public Health at Indiana University-Bloomington, where he is the Co-Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion. Michael’s history of work in LGBT communities spans some 20+ years, ranging from his work as a sexual assault educator, leading community-based HIV prevention and queer youth programs, and serving in leadership positions in international organizations focused on health and sexuality. Michael is known internationally for the sexuality-focused research efforts of the team he helps to lead at IU, with work focused on HIV-related mental health, the use of sexual enhancement products, and documenting the sexual behavior patterns of both adolescents and adults in the U.S. Michael lives in Bloomington with his partner Will and his dog Tamu.