New LGBT podcast will encourage necessary discussion


Graphic contributed by Nick Collins

The podcast Dialog(ue) creates a safe environment to examine LGBTQ topics.

Nick Collins, Contributing Writer

I experienced a lot of homophobia coming out in Winnetka. Moving and seeing the LGBTQ-friendly community here was an eye-opening experience. But what truly sparked my passion for activism at the high school was visiting my then-girlfriend back in my old town during the 2017 April break.

In short: I experienced homophobia from my interaction with her, and that experience completely opened my eyes to the matter at large.

After getting to speak during The Day of Dialogue, I wanted to show her a video of my speech.

“So do you want to see it?” I asked her.

She didn’t reply. She was reclining on the couch next to me, emotionless.

I repeated her name to get her attention.

She slowly, reluctantly looked up.


I was beaming, trying to convey to her that the opportunity to speak there meant the world to me. But only 10 seconds into the speech, she turned the phone off. I deflated.

“Why’d you do that?” I fired at her.

“I just don’t care.”

And that’s what did it.

I had never noticed it before but the trip back to the Winnetka and the conversation with my ex-girlfriend made me aware the latent homophobia I had been raised with. It was never discussed. As ntLGBT (the podcast I made when I went back there this summer) explains, lots of change has been initiated in that tiny town north of Chicago—it is, for the most part, out of my hands now, since then taken up by the courageous and dedicated students of New Trier High School.

If nothing else, however, the homophobia in Winnetka and at New Trier simply shows the undiscussed, unfortunate truths of otherwise-well-respected areas which, after finishing ntLGBT, made me wonder about Brookline. And in thinking about what we have and don’t have in this town, I came to a startling conclusion:

Issues evolve, and change still needs to be made here. Even in such a liberal town as Brookline, we still need Dialog(ue) (a podcast for LGBTQ students at the high school).

As time goes on, more and more marginalized groups come to light, and society still needs to learn how to address and accommodate them.

More importantly, however, Brookline needs Dialog(ue) because Brookline is only so liberal and progressive on the surface—the town’s culture often overwhelms people, so those unfamiliar with the LGBTQ+ community and issues are afraid to ask and learn more.

The podcast is activism on the “grassroots level”—changing opinions and increasing visibility through conversation. Although I support it, Brookline doesn’t need any more mandatory recognition days. It needs an osmosis approach—change through talking and encouraging conversation.

We need Dialog(ue) for those afraid to speak out on both sides. We need visibility for those afraid to come out or speak about their sexuality and gender and we need conversation for those scared to learn more for fear of appearing ignorant.

Through Dialog(ue), we aim to change the discussion of LGBTQ+ issues and topics from unfamiliar to a widely-shared topic of debate—all the while increasing visibility and creating a more LGBTQ+ friendly environment at the high school.

We all need it. This is not a “want” or “would-like,” but an important organization that every high school could benefit from.