Joe V. announces he’s gay to the NJ 101.5 audience: Proud moments of 2015
You could almost hear the double-take on the air.
Deminski & Doyle producer Joe Votruba hasn't historically brought much of his personal life to the New Jersey 101.5 airwaves. But when D&D spent an hour in September debating whether it's ever OK to remain friends with an ex, Joe V. came into the studio with a story of his own.
D&D had no idea Joe V. was about to casually announce to the New Jersey 101.5 audience for the first time that he's gay.
"We are so happy for him that he did, though!" the hosts wrote in an NJ1015.com post about the segment.
Joe's orientation hasn't been a secret to those who know him well (including D&D), but at New Jersey 101.5, we're proud he felt comfortable enough with our family of listeners to let them into his personal life.
Joe has said he looks forward to bringing internal and external issues that affect the LGBT community into New Jersey 101.5's discussions more, and to helping people still not comfortable with LGBT identities get to know him via his presence on our station and site.
Something else we didn't see coming: The massive praise and support both from our usual audience and from other media around the Web.
"The über-cool thing is how calm the announcement came and went," wrote the Randy Report, a blog that focuses on politics and entertainment related to the LGBT community. "His radio hosts, who knew he was gay although Joe had not gone 'public' public with the news, completely rocked and rolled with the announcement and kept on chatting with the topic at hand."
The post continued: "I really love how the rhythm of the show and the hosts didn't skip a beat when Joe shared his news. This was smooth, kids. It really informs us on how far we've come."
And just this month, Towelroad.com highlighted Joe's on-air moment as one of its "63 most powerful comings out of 2015"
"Coming out. Yes, it’s still a big deal," the site wrote. "Although LGBT rights have made huge advances in recent years, as long as people are denigrated, abused, discriminated against, and killed for being LGBT, it is still utterly important for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people to be visible, and to be proud and value their identities. Making a statement and letting the world know is just the first step in a lifelong process."