WINTER PARK – He calls himself Justice, pledges to speak “Outloud” in Orlando, and proudly admits he’s not the least bit timid about the subjects he tosses at you.
And as if to prove it, he starts talking about the recent day he walked into the bathroom and found his father inside, naked, and shaving.
Or how he lost a Celibacy Challenge on June 15.
He debated the definition of “lecherous,” then held a “Drunken Homo Trivia” contest. And the hour was only half over.
It’s just another “Homo Happy Hour” for Justice, as he sits in the radio studio in the basement of Mills Hall at Rollins College, where he’s the host and executive producer of “Outloud Orlando,” an irreverent, typically zany, often in bad taste, but rarely slow or monotonous, program that could be called gay-but-accessible.
“This is my baby,” Justice said.
Known during business hours as David Justice, a former criminal defense attorney, he’s a longtime fan of Howard Stern who started hosting the show in May 2009, in the WPRK Studio at Rollins College. He’s been doing it ever since, every Tuesday at 4 p.m.
“This is one of the last small independent radio stations in Florida,” Justice said, sitting in the lounge just outside the studio. Outloud Orlando has been a radio program aimed at Greater Orlando’s gay and lesbian community for the past 17 years, and past hosts have included Christopher Alexander Manley, who runs the Gay Days celebration every June, and Michael Vance, executive director at The Center, Orlando’s gay and lesbian community center on Mills Avenue.
“I came along and started co-hosting with him in 2009,” Justice said.
For the past two years, the show truly has been his “baby.” In an era of political correctness, Justice has taken the show in the opposite direction, tossing aside concerns about offending anyone with the content, but heightening concerns about being potentially bland and forgettable.
“I grew up a child admiring the career of Howard Stern,” he said. “I definitely have my own take on doing radio. I don’t want to be Howard Stern. There’s only one Howard Stern. But I can evaluate the ideas behind attention to detail, and being entertaining to people.” [
A self-proclaimed “military brat,” Justice said for a long time he was a lot more reluctant to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality. But today, those days are over.
“I’ve only been out for three years,” he said. “I never identified myself that way, but as a guy with all this other stuff – who happened to be gay.”
That attitude had an impact on the way he hosts Outloud Orlando. Justice said he isn’t trying to wage war with the straight world, and welcomes as many straight listeners as he can get.
“I’m trying to do away with the us-versus-them mentality,” he said. “An avid lover of Key West, my theme has always been that we’re one big family. It may be a dysfunctional family, but we’re still one big family.”
Not everyone in the local gay community appreciates his approach, he noted.
“One of the big things I’ve learned is that the mature GLBT community, some of them are so set in their ways that my show is considered an affront to what a gay show should be,” he said. “But I make my basic decisions based on what I think will be entertaining. When I choose a guest, I say, ‘Is this someone who will be engaging for my listeners to hear?’ Everyone has a story to tell. This radio show has been a great way to share people’s stories.“
His approach appears to be working. Outloud Orlando now averages around 2,000 listeners, and from all over the globe, since the show can be picked up not only on 91.5 FM, but also on Justice’s Facebook page or on the Internet at http://www.outloudorlando.com/. The audience is definitely not all queer, he added.
“There’s nothing that makes me more happy than when people befriend me on Facebook or write in and say, ‘I’m not gay but I love your show,’ “ Justice said. “The show has completely evolved to a new level.”
So has the audience, said his co-host, Daniel Haas.
“We’ve been getting more and more Canadians,” he said. “The Canadians really like us.”
Justice said that’s because the show aims to be entertaining and funny – not confrontational and angry.
“I’m really glad we’ve been able to get away with being on this station,” he said. “It’s a show that goes on without any restrictions as much as can be.”
And if it sounds peculiar to some conservative listeners to hear Justice talk about seeing his father naked, interviewing drunken gay men at local clubs, planning a trip to a local bath house, or losing a challenge to stay celibate for a month – “I did fail the celibacy challenge,” Justice declared, adding “I was just using sex as a complete ego boost” – his co-host Rob Ward said this particular show had been surprisingly tame.
“This is one of the least TMI hours we’ve ever had,” he said.
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