New Radio Station UNITY 89.1FM Spotlights LGBTQIA+ Voices

New Radio Station Highlights Local Creatives & Queer Experiences in the Coastal Bend

UNITY 89.1FM promises a platform for members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community to come together and foster an open dialogue, live on air.

An individual is photographed amid a rainbow background for UNITY 89.1FM radio station.

Provided by Hi-Res Media Group

PRIDE Corpus Christi’s newest project, UNITY 89.1, shares the love that fills the LGBTQIA+ community with a brand new, one-of-a-kind radio station.

PRIDE CC President Jonathan Swindle, an active community member and queer advocate in South Texas, began chipping away at the project after Common Frequency’s CEO Todd Urick approached the organization last November. Urick believed the city to be an ideal candidate for his newest initiative to bring Southern progressive and LGBTQIA+ voices onto the airwaves. Despite toying with the idea of stepping down from the president’s chair after Pride 2023, the proposal reeled Swindle back in, convinced he fit the bill perfectly to see the project to the finish line.

“This is such a good intersection with the type of work I do with media production and web development,” Swindle shared. “But the biggest goal of PRIDE Corpus Christi has always been about visibility for our community, especially in South Texas and Corpus Christi. This, to me, is another facet of that.”

Common Frequency provides cities across the country the proper resources to start their own local radio stations and give people a chance to make their voices heard, something both they and Swindle believe to be of utmost importance. The offer came after the FCC opened applications for “non-commercial, educational low power FM (“LFPM”) stations,” a rare opportunity that appears once a decade. With the group’s help and only a month to apply, UNITY’s FCC permit was one of only two Texas radio stations approved by February 2024, with six more currently pending approval.

By taking full advantage of this new medium, Swindle envisions future partnerships with other South Texas LGBTQIA+ organizations building local stations. When PRIDE CC arrived at national and international pride conferences last year as the only organization from Texas, Swindle sought out initiatives that could “build some bridges” between our cities. After a tumultuous year for queer people in this country and especially in Texas, Swindle says community and mutual support means more than ever to queer youth right now.

“I feel like the work that we do through PRIDE Corpus and now the radio station is to showcase and demystify,” said Swindle. “Not just for adults, but also for the youth to understand that what you might be told about who it is you’re supposed to be, doesn’t necessarily actually have to define you.”

A couple dances in front of a rainbow and palm tree filled backdrop as part of the UNITY 89.1FM radio station's marketing materials.
Provided by Hi-Res Media Group

Gearing up to kick off this year’s Pride Month in June, Swindle welcomes anyone interested to apply for a show so folks receive programming from sponsors and community members alike. From drag queens discussing hot topics and politics, to live tarot card readings and LGBTQIA+ healthcare advice, those looking to tune into UNITY 89.1 can rest assured the station will bring something for everyone. Especially for those outside the community itself.

“So many people that I’ve interacted with over the last few years have scorned our community because their church has said XYZ,” Swindle recalled.“If I could sit [them] down and say, these are human beings, that face struggles and trials and that need empathy and love, just the same as you, I think things would be a little bit easier.”

UNITY 89.1 FM will function as a low power frequency radio station starting on June 15th, meaning those tuning in can only do so in Corpus Christi. However, those outside the station’s reach can listen via the website and check out the uploads of any shows they might’ve missed.