On a rainy afternoon to a small but engaged audience at the Pei Ling Chan Amphitheater, Miguel Fuller, co-host of the “Miguel and Holly Mornings” on HOT 101.5 commanded a strong presence as a successful radio host should.
Miguel started his presentation on an emotional note by sharing a clip from this week’s recording. Miguel, who is in a monogamous relationship with his boyfriend of two years, can not donate blood; the antediluvian FDA regulations state deferral for men who “[have] had sex with another man during the past 12 months.” The recording demonstrated the power of the radio; his listeners, after learning of his struggle, donated blood on his behalf. To bridge that barrier over the airways, he used that moment to prove the importance of showcasing authenticity.
He castigated those who brand themselves as influencers, saying that they do not stand for anything. “What do you stand for?” Miguel asked. It became very clear what Miguel stands for; he works closely with the LGBTQ+ community by lending his voice to those who need it. He has helped gay and lesbian clubs in Tampa advertise on the radio—the first in the panhandle–, and he also mentors LGBTQ+ students.
He was an honoree for the 2018 Tampa Bay Business Journal ‘Business of Pride‘ award for his advancements of equality in the workplace. Outside of radio, Fuller writes for the LGBTQ+ Tampa Bay magazine, Watermark, once a month.
Since middle school, Fuller wanted to entertain. He promptly joined his school’s radio, setting him on a lifelong path. At that time, Fuller had a stutter; getting into radio seemed like the odd choice, but over the years, he learned ways to overcome it—a common trend throughout his career.
In high school, Fuller took the position of Program Director of Roswell High School in Georgia. With little experience, he sought help from other radio hosts, emailing and calling them for guidance. “Always ask for help, always ask for guidance and reach out,” Fuller said. He continued his passion for radio at Georgia Southern University, splitting his time between the student radio, WVGS 91.9 The Buzz, and the student newspaper, The George-Anne Daily.
Working at both angered Adam Crisp, SCAD Student Media Director, who then fired Miguel from the newspaper. After he graduated and left a heinous experience in Savannah, he landed a part-time position in Panama City, Florida. The gamble paid off and he later hosted his own show, “The Miguel Show” with Mandy & Holly on the Island 106 station. The success brought him to Tampa Bay, where he currently hosts the “Miguel and Holly Mornings.”
Fuller parted with the some life lessons. “Do not care about being judged, shed your shame and just be yourself. Set up a vision board, you must visualize what you want. Share the spotlight, you should want to see the people around you grow and flourish. Find people in your industry and reach out, it is ok to ask for help.”
Over the years, Miguel took risks that could have jeopardized his career; however, he followed his dream, and it rewarded him in full. When Fuller faces a fork in the road, his mother — his voice of reason — answers what Fuller already knows: his destination always ends with his passion for radio.