Internships are about gaining experience and making connections. Working at Wired 96.5 has been that and more. I have had an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.
It isn’t easy being a woman in the professional world, let alone a gay woman. For the duration of my internship at the radio station, I had the pleasure of working with the midday DJ, Casey, who has been out on the air ever since getting into the business. In hindsight, I am just now realizing what an incredible experience this has been.
Hiding who you are is difficult, especially when you’re in the public eye. This has never phased Casey. She refuses to let her sexual orientation become her identity, but at the same time, she uses it for good. Her place as a public personality has truly allowed her to make a difference in the community in the fight for equality. She promotes and attends various LGBT friendly events around the city and uses social media to advocate related causes.
Seeing this as a young gay professional has been incredibly moving and inspiring. Constantly worrying if you’re being judged for your sexuality in classes, networking events, interviews, and in the workplace can be incredibly stressful. This experience has taught me that none of that matters. If you work hard, take initiative, and strive for excellence, you will succeed, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation and if you’re turned away for any of these things then you just move on.
After seeing all that Casey has done, it is my hope that, one day, I can use my position to continue to advocate for the LGBT community. To me, this is very important because I can’t really hide my sexual orientation as well as some other can without drastically modifying my appearance, which is honestly really uncomfortable at times. Everybody has to make sacrifices, but hiding your sexual orientation shouldn’t be one of them.
Over the past few months, Casey has taught me the ins and outs of the radio station, how to record and edit audio, and tons of tips for using social media, But the most important lesson I learned is to stay true to yourself. Now that I have witnessed it firsthand, I will never forget it.