SEATTLE — A Seattle high school radio station is being recognized for their impactful support of LGBTQIA students, staff and listeners.
The award-winning station C89.5 is operated entirely by Nathan Hale High School students and staff. Celebrating their 50th anniversary on Seattle’s airwaves, it attracts more than 150,000 listeners each week, about 30% of them identify as LGBTQIA.
Weekdays you can tune into C 89.5′s Anthems on your afternoon commute to catch radio personality and DJ Harmony Soleil getting listeners amped up with some of the biggest dance songs. When she’s not on-air, Soleil is teaching and empowering the younger generation at Nathan Hale High School.
“I started here in 2004. When I was 14 I walked in and did intro to radio and I’ve never left,” said Soleil.
Soleil credits her time at C 89.5 as a student for shaping her personal and professional life. She is excited to be there for the next generation.
“They can even find themselves. You know, we see them change. They come in as freshmen and they leave as seniors and you know they not only gain confidence but maybe they figure out that they want to identify on that LGBT+ spectrum,” said Soleil.
Seniors Auden and Evan Knapp have gained practical hand-on-experience at C 89.5, working in production and on the station’s “What Pride Means” campaign.
“Pride means to me, like, passion — being passionate about who you are. And just embracing yourself and living your authentic life,” said Auden Knapp.
The program is also a reflection of the school’s inclusive environment.
“I definitely wanted to share my story because a lot of people knew that I was trans. And I just wanted to bring visibility to that and the hardships,” said Evann Knapp.
The twin siblings hope their stories empower LGBTQIA individuals and encourage allies to promote equality.
“My pronouns are they and them,” said Auden.
“My pronouns are he/him,” said Evann.
Now a mentor and teacher, Soleil draws upon her lived experience to offer students a welcoming space to thrive.
“We’re not going anywhere, we’re just going to keep blossoming and growing,” said Soleil.
To learn more about C89.5 and their “What Pride Means” campaign: https://www.c895.org
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