In a novel, edgy promotional campaign for General Electric Co.’s NBC network flagship station, WNBC-TV in New York City, one commercial raises awareness of homophobia and speaks with a gay teen. A 16-year-old who goes by the name Xander talks about coming out.
"I'm a gay teenager but that's not really me, I do other things," says Xander, with dyed red hair and a brick wall behind him. The words "Coming Out" flash across the screen. He continues, "It was just a great experience but for a lot of people it's not so good."
A rapid succession of derogatory words then appears on screen, "fudge packer, fruit loop, fairy, fag," and others, followed by the note "2,552 anti-gay incidents recorded in 1998."
Xander then says, "We have to make it safe for people, so they don't have to fear for their lives if they come out. Then concentrate on opening people's lives a little bit more." The familiar peacock logo for the station appears and the campaign's name, "Listen."
Xander is one of 11 youth who speak their minds about the modern world in the soft-selling WNBC-TV campaign.