Quick hit: GLAAD Call to Action

I started working on a longer post about this, but didn’t finish it in time, and I want to get this out there before too many people head off for the weekend. (EDITED TO ADD: Okay, clearly I didn’t manage this, sorry. I’m still getting the hang of WordPress’ dashboard and accidentally posted this as a page with a tab at the top, right up there with “About” and “Don’t You Realize Fat Is Unhealthy?” Oops.)

Please go read this call to action from GLAAD, issued in response to the hateful and abusive comments made about transgender children on the May 28 edition of the Sacramento radio show Rob, Arnie, and Dawn In the Morning.

According to the transcript, host Arnie States shared some particularly odious and hateful sentiments, such as his belief that “If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes. I would throw a shoe at him. Because you know what? Boys don’t wear high heels. And in my house, they definitely don’t wear high heels.”

And this gem: “You know, my favorite part about hearing these stories is about the kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress. I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down.”

GLAAD provides the following contact information for those at KRXQ who could use some contacting. Please, please do so. (I hope to write a bit more about this later, relating it as well to pro-life extremists and the understanding of childhood that seems common to – perhaps even required by? – certain hateful ideologies. But for now, please take a moment to email the folks at KRXQ, as well as the show’s sponsors, and let them know how unacceptable this is.)

(h/t belledame222 at Fetch Me My Axe)

Posted in Fat

67 thoughts on “Quick hit: GLAAD Call to Action

  1. I was just coming here to post something on the open thread about this! A friend linked me to this post: http://wook77.livejournal.com/241760.html?view=3016544#t3016544 – apparently some sponsors have pulled ads already!

    It just makes my head explode to think that anyone could ever think that it was OK to say this shit, not so much the stupid fuckers actually saying it but, you know, the station apparently going “oh well you know, it’s just a LAUGH!” when they are advocating VIOLENCE AGAINST ACTUAL CHILDREN FOR BEING TRANS?!?!?!

  2. Oh, my God.

    So my husband and I were watching “Friends” the other day, and it was the episode where Rachel learns about the “I Hate Rachel Club” (Brad Pitt was in this episode) and Monica makes some comment about being relieved to find out that Ross (her brother) wasn’t gay . . . and my husband said, “You know, I would never, ever say something like that.” Because it never would matter to him whether someone was gay or not.

    Which made me happy, but that’s not really the point. Advocating violence against another class of human beings is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I’ll be sending them an email.

  3. I doubt he was truly advocating throwing shoes. It was an hyperbole. He was trying to say that he would be shocked and unhappy. It takes awhile to accept. As people in this blog can testify, change is never easy.

    However, although it was an hyperbole, it’s still unacceptable because not all people will take it that way.

  4. Lillian, but so what if it’s a hyperbole if the underlying meaning – the one that on your account is accentuated and driven home by the hyperbole – is “You’re not acceptable because you’re transgender?”

    The problem is not how people will “take it,” the problem is that these guys hate transpeople.

  5. wow.
    i can understand having strong feelings about shocking life changes, Lillian, but saying you’re going to throw shoes at your kid? (eddie murphy made this funny in a skit once; dangerous humor *can* be done well – but this isn’t humor. and isn’t said well.)

    i don’t care what’s in his heart of hearts. what he is doing is inciting violence, and that is just plain fucked up. put any other person on the receiving end of that shoe, and it is crystal clear that is is NOT ok.

  6. It’s more than the shoe, Lillian. Go read the transcripts. This asshat recommended bullying and ridiculing little boys if they expressed a desire to wear a dress, and described them as having ‘a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them.’

    I also have leave to doubt that it’s much in the way of hyperbole. I know Sacramento of old, and I’ve still got extended family out that way. Most of them are intemperate, intolerant asshats too.

    But you know, even if it were … I am fucking sick to death of being asked to try and understand, to give them all a little slack, they just don’t know, etc. etc. etc. IT’S NOT LIKE COMMON DECENCY REQUIRES A PASSWORD AND A SECRET HANDSHAKE.

    Gah. Now I’ve got heartburn.

  7. I have transgender step child. It was in bad taste. He didn’t mean we should actually do these things. I think they are better ways he could have said it would make him uncomfortable.

    Transition isn’t an overnight process. I accidentally called him a girl when making sure he was really for school this morning. Anger is one of the way we deal with things. Throwing a shoe wouldn’t help the situation. Off topic, my mother threw a shoe at me (her 28 year old daughter) while I was carrying my newborn child because I didn’t want to eat dinner out with her.

    Back to the topic at hand, many parents need to time to accept the transition. I didn’t make sense to me at first. His behavior never struck me as boyish. I accept that is the way he feels. He sees himself as a boy and that’s enough.

  8. Lillian–I can’t believe you have a transgender child under your care and can espouse those beliefs.

    What those men said was abusive and hateful. It is not a result of taking time to accept it, it is a result of hating another human being. Even if the violence was an exaggeration, they were advocating abuse towards children. We should give them no leniency, we should not try to understand what they were saying. They were advocating cruelty, and that is evil, as is supporting them.

    I suspect you didn’t bother actually reading what they said, and you really should, be you look really bad blaming people for taking hyperbole the wrong way when they are making a rational reaction to unrepentant bigotry.

  9. Lillian, the fact that you have a trans stepchild is counterproductive to your argument, in my eyes. I hope some day you learn to truly accept him (it sounds like your stepchild is MtF), because right now, it seems as though you can identify with the shock jocks better than you can with your spouse’s child.

    This story sickens me, and I’m so glad to see the outpouring of support the trans community is receiving from individuals and businesses as a result. Kate, have you seen the letter from thedather of a born-male child who exhibits genderqueer tendencies? I’ll link you when I’m at the desktop computer; it’s brilliant.

  10. I agreed that it was hateful. I adore my stepson and he got tons of email about this and learn about it through online friends. He agrees it was a bad thing to say. We were at Concord for the Senate hearing about gay marriage and believe me that hateful things said there don’t compare.

    Those bigots got us gay marriage in New Hampshire. Their arguments had no logic. It made it easy to see that supporting gay marriage was the only logic solution since the people asking that their sons and daughters be allowed to marry were rational while the bigots were not.

    I did listen to it. I also listened to his explanations for what he said. I can tell you from experience through my stepson and his friends that kids go through this process is rather slowly. The comments couldn’t apply to a real circumstance. A transgender child that was in a loving home would talk about this issue long before ever crossdressing. A child that knew his parents would have a hard time dealing with it would take his/her time explaining it to the parent. Transitioning requires months (years) of counseling. Parents are involved every step of the way. It’s not a surprise.

    I still don’t think my stepson acts boyish, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a boy. He is a boy. He wants everyone that meets him to see him as a boy. He takes shots every week so he sounds and looks like a boy. He hopes to have top surgery within a year or two. His father is unemployed and I’m disabled so we don’t currently have the income.

    We adore our son and know that transitioning isn’t easy. However, that person on the radio has no idea of the complexity of the issue. His comments and his realization of his comments make him look ignorant. I don’t think we should take them so seriously.

  11. Ok, Lillian – I get where you’re coming from. You see complexity in this because you live the complexity. That’s valid.

    But we have to separate what *we ourselves* know and live and what others say. What this guy said was some seriously hateful bullshit. For emphasis, I’ll say this again: I don’t care if he thinks he’s a violent, child-abusing asshole deep in his heart. I only care that what he said needlessly incites violence.

    Because the same way you’re reading what he said into *your* personal experience, Lillian, is going to be the same way some hateful asshole reads it into HIS experience. And that hateful asshole is going to think someone’s got his back on this, when he thinks, ‘Hey, I should just try smacking some sense into this kid. MAYBE IF THE WORLD IS CRUEL ENOUGH, HE WON’T BE WHAT HE IS.”

    And THAT is what I do not support.

  12. Lillian, by not talkng it seriously, we give our permission for it to go further. You must teach a baby not to slap becausethat hurts. But how much more does a punch hurt? If we do not say “ow” to the little hurt, we cannot teach that “OWWWWWW!!!!!!!” is a bigger hurt.
    It sounds like you’re trying. But it sounds like a fight. I hope you’re willing to allow your mind to be opened a little more, making the process less painful for you, an more rewarding foe your family.

  13. As a long time Sac native, and one-time RAD listener (I blame highschool and RAD at one time not being THAT awful), I have to say that, while its kind to give Arnie and Rob the benefit of the doubt, they really are that level of asshole. Unless you are an able bodied, thin, straight, conservative, upper middle class white male you are up for grabs on the insult train between 5 and 10am on KRXQ.

    There is no question in my mind that Rob and Arnie meant every word about wishing violence on transgender people. children specifically, all in the name of ratings and shock value. They are purposefully cruel to every demographic (barring the above stated niche), with the only singular worthwhile human being in the world being Rob, the show owner, himself (Arnie embraces his role as the “[self hating] fat, lower class sleaze ball” with pride).

    Talking with other locals, we have found it … surprising that ~this~ was the thing that finally made people upset enough to say something about how mean-spirited and cruel this morning show actually is. Maybe its that they finally attacked a group that is not only already persecuted (trans-folk), but also unable to protect themselves (children).

  14. I can’t even write a coherent letter to the station manager I’m so mad.

    Don Imus and Howard Stern were on the air and syndicated when these douchbags were still majoring in communications at Podunk U.. Do these three people really have such a high opinion of themselves that they think they can get by with saying the kind of shit that got Don Imus fired and led Stern to leave terrestrial radio for satellite? Seriously? Do they really think saying ‘I didn’t mean it that way’ is going to get them a free pass? They deserve to be fired just as much as Imus.

    And I don’t give a shit if Dawn expressed “concern”. A decent person would have walked the fuck out. At the very least she wouldn’t be sitting there going ‘yeah I still have a problem with one thing…’

    And Lillian I sure as hell don’t use my parents bad choices to rationalize the hateful pissing contest antics of troglodytes. Sell crazy elsewhere.

    Oh and believe me, when people are that damn hateful with gays and lesbians and trans people, I’m looking in the closet of Rob and Arnie for Manolos and a pink boa. These guys have got serious problems with their sexual and gender identities.

    Hi, J Edgar Hoover- enjoy that silky housecoat!

  15. Lillian, they openly advocated the abuse of children to make them not transgendered. How can you not have a problem with that? To me, it’s almost like you’re blaming the children for not taking care of their parents’ delicate feelings, which is BS. Children do not always have the understanding to present things slowly, nor do they always come from loving homes. And these evil men are trying to ensure that their homes will not be loving.

    IMO, we need to start expecting people to be okay with the transgendered now, especially if they’re parents. They are responsible for their children’s wellbeing, not the other way around. I don’t care how hard the transition is, the important thing is that the child is fully supported from the beginning, and if we go around saying that it’s okay for parents to take a long time to accept it, we only hurt the children. Parents need to drop their own baggage and take care of their children.

    Not only that, but these guys are enforcing rigid gender standards. They’re saying it’s wrong and evil when you cross gender lines. Boys don’t wear dresses because it’s evil, right there in the transcripts.

  16. I’m not going to listen to the audio. I’ve heard enough crap from morning shock jocks to know now that most actually feel this way towards people they perceive as not good enough, and the angry straight white dude is not just an act, but for real.

    As for Lillian, I’m not going to give her shit like others have here. She has the transgender stepchild. I don’t. I can safely assume some of you don’t, either, so until we actually have the chance to experience what they’re dealing with, I don’t think we have a right to be so hostile towards her. If you think I’m condoning what the DJ’s said, I’m not, but I’m sure it will be misconstrued that way since I’m not giving her grief. Believe what you want.

  17. Bree I’m glad that you were willing to stand up for Lillian. That’s very kind of you.

    Lillian I’m at a loss for why you explain your experience of rearing a trans child on one hand and then try to explain what these guys meant. Why do you feel the need to essentially take up for them? And what does your mom throwing a shoe at you have to do anything. I feel like you’re making excuses for parents that are assholes by saying that its hard to deal with at first..

    Yes I do have trans friends. Not everybody has families that are okay with trans children no matter how slow they transition or try to ease their family into it. More families are like Arnie than Lillian.

  18. I honestly don’t care if it was hyperbole or not, it’s still creating an environment that’s dangerous for trans people.

    Also a great example of how transphobia, homophobia and misogyny intersect.

  19. I actually listened to the segment – it is kind of strange when radio hosts accuse kids of being “drama queens” while acting all drama queen like themselves. I also still find it astonishing that some people feel the need to pretend that if they have never felt a certain way (like being a girl with a boy’s body or the other way round) this experience cannot exist for anybody (other than maybe as a disorder).

    Also, I know this is not the main point, but what is so bad about your son wearing a dress? Kids try out things. When I was little, we actually dressed my dad up as a woman, and it was a lot of fun. I guess that must be a terrible thing to allow your kids as well, then? It’s just crazy to believe that allowing your kid to cross dress makes them transgendered. And honestly, if kids truly would crossdress because they are little “drama queens” who want attention wouldn’t the most rational thing be to just not make a big deal out of it?

  20. I tried to listen to the radio segement. I really did. First thing that got me was the whole “peanut allergies are just people being attention whores” thing. I’ll be sure to tell that to my friend Kitty, who is so allergic to peanuts she gets welts just from touching them, next time I see her. THEN came the whole “transgender people are freaks and it’s totally okay to bully the shit out of them for it”. I had to stop listening at 15 miuntes. My nose was starting to bleed.

    I need to… guh, I don’t even know. RAGE. Must write letters!!

  21. @ Angela:
    Yeah, the peanut allergy thing got me, too. Yes, allergies are treatable, but they are not necessarily curable. (I am allergic to quite a number of animals, and I have hear the reasoning that this is just because I don’t like animals far too often. I love animals. I just get asthma attacks when I am around them.)

  22. Allergies are just one more thing where people happily fly in the face of all and any medical evidence. Apparently, years and years of medical research and testing means nothing to these people.

    But then, they’re happily ignoring years of research about the psychology of gender and trans people too, so its hardly a surprise.

  23. Lilian, I don’t think anyone here is hostile towards you so much as really fucking confused as to how you can obviously have a pretty good idea about trans kids and yet are trying to explain away some utterly disgusting trans-hating claptrap as “oh, they’re just saying they would be upset and confused”. No, they really aren’t.

    They aren’t like you, who probably were upset and confused when your son came to you first of all, but now accept him for who he is.

    They’re like the cockweasels whose kids come out as gay and throw them out of the house or try to force them straight, resulting in suicide, who disown their kids for marrying a person of colour, who are told their kid has been bullying/victimising a kid at school for being trans/gay/fat/whatever and tell whoever told them to fuck off, then go and give the kid a pat on the back.

    I don’t (afaik) have a trans kid, but I do have a good friend who I’ve known since he was 15 or so, not long after he realised he wasn’t really a butch lesbian who was starting to prefer boys but a queer transguy. His parents are very “right on”, “open minded” Norwegian liberal types but they have still had an immensely hard time accepting him (whereas they were fine when he was a lesbian) and because of a number of factors including the fact that he has mental health issues and his parents’ difficulty, he’snot been allowed to even start transitioning yet, though he’s been living as a boy/man for six or seven years.

  24. The trouble with these issues is that the waters are very, very muddy. Of course there are a large number of dreadfully prejudiced or ignorant people, and of course what was said on this programme is appalling. In my experience, most people (at least here in the UK) just are not clear on the difference between transgender and transvestite, and lots think that both are really just a fancy riff on being gay. (I know that neither has anything to do with that.) So not only are they prejudiced, but also they don’t really know what they are being prejudiced about. It sounds to me as if these hosts weren’t all that sure either. Not that that makes it any better: but I wonder if all their hatred was actually directed at the target they thought it was.

  25. The comments couldn’t apply to a real circumstance. A transgender child that was in a loving home would talk about this issue long before ever crossdressing.

    Lillian, I think the big thing that your comment is missing here is that a lot of transgender kids are NOT in a loving home, and that horrible comments like the radio hosts’ make it even harder for there to be loving homes for trans kids. There are many, many LGBT kids whose “real circumstances” are completely horrific, and these comments add fuel to the fire.

  26. He didn’t mean we should actually do these things.

    But he said he would.

    I understand your desire to defend him out of empathy, but this is not a friend confessing his struggle and his conflicted and sometimes dreadful feelings to you over coffee. This is a thoughtlessly violent statement from a media personality. He hasn’t experienced this, and he isn’t struggling; he is using his public platform to aver that violence against people who don’t confer to gender stereotypes is, if not acceptable, at least funny.

  27. I don’t know how many of you have listened to their apology but its rich. It’s available on their website. They said they were deeply offended people are offended by their violent rhetoric because they were just joking. sheesh.

  28. He made a statement that he would never hurt kids or promote hurting kids. I never condone what he said. I’m just saying that his words are ignorant. People say lots of hateful things through ignorance. I’m not defending him. I’m saying that he said these hurtful things through ignorance.

    Sexuality is a spectrum. We all have preconceived notions at what it means to be a boy or a girl. I don’t think the children need to ease the way for parents. I think it has to be two way. I think both need patience and it’s a learning experience. The child, him or herself, has probably thought over the issue for months if not years before approaching a parent.

    Therefore, the child will probably be more knowledge on the issue especially now with the Internet. Transgender youth tend to read every book they can find on the subject and likely before speaking to an adult about the issue. They want to explain it. They need to explain it. They want to tell people, family members, friends, how they feel.

    I think talk about this radio show is ultimately doing good before it makes people aware of transgender people and society’s ignorance of the issue. This radio announcer was voicing what many people feels but don’t say. It’s bad that he felt that way, but he realized that what he said was hurtful.

  29. Sad that we live in such a hideous world. Thanks for posting this.

    Also, I hate when people say something and then claim they didn’t mean it. Saying you would be confused or upset is different from saying you would take violent action. However, sadly our culture of masculinity encourages men to see violence as the logical extension of their frustration/confusion/anger. Still doesn’t make it right.

    And if I’m not mistaken, Dr. Tiller’s death pretty much confirms that words have consequences.

  30. Wow. Claiming that the best way to deal with a transgender son is to beat him with a shoe. Publicly saying that you look forward to children being beaten down and needing therapy. Wow.

    That right there tells me that they couldn’t care less about the pain, alleged molestation or alleged mental illness of transgenders – they just think they’re icky and want them to be put in their place with lots of manly violence.

  31. He made a statement that he would never hurt kids or promote hurting kids.

    Except that he DID promote hurting kids. That may not be what he meant but, that is the practical implication of what he said.

  32. Lillian, as the stepparent of a transgender child, I assume that you’re aware of the statistic that transgender individuals have a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered: http://www.hrc.org/issues/1508.htm. (Cisgendered individuals have about a 1 in 18,000 chance of being murdered.)

    I don’t care if the DJs said it was a joke, or if you say it was hyperbole.

    As filljonk said, the DJs used their public platform to reach a huge number of listeners and advocate violence against transgender children, who ALREADY HAVE an astronomically high chance of being the victims of violence.

    Not all speech is protected, and speech that incites violence falls in the category of non-protected speech. “It was just a joke!” doesn’t work.

    And hyperbole can still incite violence.

  33. “I’m just saying that his words are ignorant. People say lots of hateful things through ignorance”

    Because ignorance is the perfect excuse, right? I’m guessing I can just run stop signs now, and claim I didn’t know I had to stop, and that makes it all ok?

    Seriously, these guys? They KNOW that what they’re saying is wrong. They KNOW exactly what it is they’re doing. Ignorance is a nice, convenient shield, because people do exactly what you’re doing now and defend them.

  34. @Teppy — Oh. My God. I had no idea it was one in twelve. I can’t fathom how that doesn’t move the consciences of people who are otherwise inclined to think, “Transgender whatchamahuh?”

    Lillian, I haven’t lived what you’ve lived… but my gut reaction is that you’re selling yourself short if you liken your own early struggle to understand your stepchild to the DJs’ gleeful and glib hate. Maybe this isn’t a good analogy, but it reminded me of some of the shame I felt these last couple of week when I remember that I used to be a pro-lifer who prayed the rosary outside of Planned Parenthood. I had sort of a there-but-for-the-grace-of-God moment when I considered how, in some parallel universe, I might have been sucked further and further in to pro-life extremism, until… etc. But then I thought, “Hang on. I *wasn’t* sucked in further. I started to see there were problems, serious ones, with the pro-life movement. I started to see that many pro-lifers simply don’t like most women, and to ask why that is. I eventually switched sides in a major way. And that is KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT.”

    So, yes, just as you say, some cisgender people are ignorant or scared of or hateful toward transgender people initially. And some of those learn more, think about it, empathize, and stop being ignorant or scared or hateful. Others, though, gleefully persist in ignorance and fear and hatred, cajole and incite others to share their hate, turn down opportunities to learn more, and issue a half-assed “apology” only when threatened. AND THAT RIGHT THERE is exactly were it’s appropriate to talk about personal culpability, because the difference mostly boils down to what kind of a person you are and how much compassion you’re able to muster.

  35. Thank you, A Sarah.
    And again, this isn’t a parent confessing to a friend over coffee “I’m not sure what to think about my son’s wanting to wear girl’s clothing. I don’t understand what caused this” etc. This is a jerk taking advantage of a public platform to advocate violence against children. Sure, I can understand that being a parent of a trans* or gender- non-conforming child would carry some difficulties and a person might have strong emotions or be confused about it. There’s still no excuse for broadcasting hate.
    I emailed the advertisers and was glad to receive lots of responses saying they were no longer advertising on the show and had removed their logos from the show’s website.

  36. Y’all will *not* be surprised to know that Arnie has an rant in his “urban-voice” (the level of thoughtless racist-ness is stunning) blog about Prop 8 and how it didn’t happen for the right and proper reason that regular people shouldn’t have the beliefs or desire for equal rights of others foisted off on them. This is a rough paraphrase as I couldn’t really understand a lot of it because of the “style.” What complete asshats these guys are.

  37. HMPH. What a… a… dammit, there are really no insults that come readily to mind that can describe how I feel about what this person has said. GRRRRR!

    He must have had a lot of shoes thrown at him and other little kids beating the shit out of him on the playground when he was this boy’s age, to have come out so all-fired hateful. I pity him, I’m angry and upset with him, and I hope one day he understands why what he’s done is hateful and entirely unacceptable and feels sorry for the hurt he’s caused.

    I’m so sick of media personalities advocating (even in jest) violence against others and then acting all shocked and uptight and outraged and morally superior when someone listens to them and acts out that violence.

  38. I’ve been livid with rage over this issue, and no matter what I do the anger just won’t go away. It probably doesn’t help that I have my very own special brand of privelege; I grew up with a family that, whilst afaik consisted of cisgendered, mostly straight people, was open about gender and sexual expression and encouraged openess and exploration in me.

    The sort of hatred espoused by these bigots just… it makes absolutely no sense to me. And thank you for those statistics Teppy; I knew transgender people had to deal with violence, but I had no idea just how bad it was! It is just… sickening.

  39. All parents have hopes for their kids, some more specific, some less. On this general subject, I have always said that I would be sad to find that one of my kids was transgendered, because I believe that is a very hard road to walk. That 1 in 12 statistic is just horrifying, I wonder what it is in Aus? But there is clearly already WAY TOO MUCH acceptance of violence towards these people, it is too critical an issue to even be ignorant about it.

    I once threw a shoe at a child. This isn’t relevant in any way, but when I read that quote I was taken back to that time when she was throwing shows at me when I was babysitting, and I threw one back and hit her in the forehead with it. I very much doubt it would help you feel better about anything, let alone your child not meeting your expectations.

  40. I really honestly feel that every person in this country should at a certain point prior to or early on in adulthood be REQUIRED to study child and abnormal psychology, REQUIRED, because I am so, so, so tired of people in power in media platforms misusing psychological terms, confusing behavioral issues, totally misunderstanding sexual identities, and then broadcasting their confusion all over the US so that more people can misunderstand it also. If that were the case, I feel like these kinds of gaffes would happen SO MUCH LESS FREQUENTLY, and shock radio could be about things that were actually shocking, and not just hateful and incendiary.

    All kids will cross-dress at some point or another, regardless of their actual sexual orientation or identity. It’s part of how they figure out what they are, and also what they’re not. And if your little boy is putting on high heels or dresses or princess costumes or whatever, what you’re SUPPOSED to do is to just LET HIM and don’t make a big deal out of it, and then at some point he will stop, because he’s figured out gender roles inasmuch as he needs to for right now, He’ll start dealing with his sexual identity again when he comes out of latency and becomes a teenager, and if you had just let him wear the dress when he was four and shut the fuck up about it, as a teenager and an adult, he’ll have a healthy (or healthier) sexual identity (regardless of who he’s attracted to) because he’ll know what he is, and also what he’s not.

    If you are so threatened by your little boy wearing high heels or a dress or a princess costume to the point that you tell him not to do it, or further, that you FORBID him to do it, and not only that but you SHAME him and throw shoes at him and make him feel like a second-class citizen about it, that is how you get a child who will have an unhealthy sexual identity, and will probably not only continue to cross-dress into adulthood, but probably also acquire sexual behaviors that are far more harmful to himself and others. It’s highly debatable, of course, but the commonly understood perception of fetishes in clinical psychology is that they’re derived from SHAME and a sense of DANGER around certain experiences, just like these DJs are gleefully anticipating will happen to trans children. You cope with the shame you feel around these things by sexualizing them, which obviously is not ideal, because sex is not shameful or dirty.

    It’s one thing if you’re trans and you are truly uncomfortable in the body you are in. It’s a totally different thing if you don’t really know WHAT you are, but you are made to feel ashamed, as though you’ve done something wrong, for doing something that all children do, without any thought about sexuality in the way adults perceive it. This kind of shame that incites violence may breed a lot more heterosexuals, but they’ll be confused, insecure, self-hating heterosexuals. Is that really what these guys want?

  41. “and then at some point he will stop, because he’s figured out gender roles inasmuch as he needs to for right now”
    or, yanno, ze won’t stop dressing in female clothing, because, having figured out gender roles somewhat, the female one feels more appropriate. and that would be okay too.

    If every “shock-jock” fell into a portal to Pylea, I do not think I could be sad. The fact that not only are people allowed to go on the media and spew this kind of hate, but that it is justified because a certain audience finds it “entertaining” sickens me unbelievably.
    What is it that makes some people truly believe that those who are different from them are not worthy of being treated as human beings? It makes me want to hide from the world.

  42. A couple of people have talked about the sexuality aspect of tans kids. I think its important to separate the issues of gender identity and sexuality.

    A trans man might have been a lesbian as a woman but may be attracted to other trans men post-op. Kate Bernstein was straight as a man and still dated women following surgery. If a boy, who feels like he’s really a girl, is attracted to other boys- he’s not gay. And of course some trans people never undergo surgery.

    One guy was killed at Ft Campbell because he was dating a trans woman who was pre-op. It was consistently talked about as a gay relationship but it wasn’t. The relationship was built around the attraction between a man and a woman.

    Then there are cross dressers who don’t identify as trans and many are in het relationships.

    Confusing sexuality and gender makes acknowledging trans nature all the more difficult. And, really, a lot of the fears about trans people is plain old homophobia even though sexuality is a separate issue. Arnie is COMPLETELY wrong about trans people not existing forty years ago. People in the fifties had no problem with fact Christine Jourgenson used to be a male WWII vet until they realized that she still had a penis and a boyfriend with a penis. I suspect that Arnie’s main beef is the idea his hypothetical kid might be gay and the gender part is secondary. .

    I highly recommend the documentary Almost Myself and the movie Ma Vida en Rose. Pat Califia also does a lot of writing about the complexities of being trans altghough I have some serious issues with some of his positions. All of these items portray trans people as well adjusted individuals rather than victims ala Boys Don’t Cry.

    Oh and then there’s the whole change in priveledge with FTM and MTF which continues to irk me. Like the former Navy Seal who transitioned to a woman AFTER he retired. I wanna be a woman but not if it means I have to deal with the institutionalized sexism.

    Okay… too long but the gender and sexuality conflation kept jumping out at me.

  43. I’m very happy to see all the sponsors pulling out of this show over this. Good. It’s about damn time people like this were told that they can’t just pull down their fratboy pants and shit wherever they like. It’s been going on too long.

    But yeah, the belief that “condition X didn’t exist 50 years ago and is purely a plague of modern times” (whether it’s “obesity,” autism, being trans, or anything else hung with that label) is almost always factually wrong as well as hatey. Not having a name for something is not the same thing as it not existing. (Maybe Internet addiction didn’t exist 50 years ago, but just about everything else did.)

    And one in twelve? Please forgive me, I had no idea it was that bad. Yeesh.

  44. The thing of it, for me, is that they’re not just advocating violence against trans kids, who are going to comprise a fairly tiny portion of the population. They’re advocating violence against any kid who fails to conform to the narrowest of societal gender constructs, even on an occasional or situational basis, which is pretty much every kid, ever.

    What would that “one in twelve” stat–which is just horrifying–look like if trans people didn’t have to live in a world where everyone was taught very early on, by someone they loved and looked up to and depended on, that the only appropriate and socially acceptable response to gender transgression is eradication?

  45. I wrote the station and cc’d the DJs last week stating that I would refuse to patronize any of their sponsors.

    I applaud Chipotle, Sonic, Dr Pepper and BofA for standing up and pulling sponsorship.

    I used to listen to this show in Sacramento (but stopped b/c of the show’s increasing intolerance) and it was often stated by the DJs that since they had the #1 show in the area, the most money, etc, that they were essentially untouchable.

    Perhaps they will use this reality check for good.

  46. I really love the “trans people didn’t exist until recently” argument, since there are mentions of trans people in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    Yeah, so the mentions are in the law books and are mostly against trans people… that’s something else entirely that I struggle with.

    But someone did bring up the point once that Eve, being taken from Adam’s rib, is technically a MtF transsexual.

  47. “…kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress.”

    Right, because we all know how EASY the transgendered kids have it in high school.

  48. I just picked this up from the Show’s website…

    UPDATED JUNE 7TH, 2009, 11:50AM

    TO OUR LOYAL ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN FOLLOWERS,

    WE HAVE FAILED YOU. AS A SHOW, AS PEOPLE, AS BROADCASTERS, WE HAVE SIMPLY FAILED ON ALMOST EVERY LEVEL.

    WE PRESENTED OUR OPINIONS ON A VERY SENSITIVE SUBJECT IN A HATEFUL, CHILDISH AND CRUDE FASHION; AND THEN, GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO RETRACT THOSE REMARKS, WE DEFENDED THEM.

    SINCE THEN, YOU, OUR LOYAL LISTENERS, HAVE MADE IT CLEAR TO US THAT WE WENT TOO FAR. THE RESPONSE HAS BEEN OVERWHELMING. NONE OF YOU SAID THAT WE COULDN’T HAVE OPINIONS, YET SO MANY OF YOU SAID THAT THE WAY WE GAVE THEM CROSSED THE LINE. FURTHER, YOU SAID THAT OUR ATTEMPT TO MASK OUR COMMENTS AS “JOKES THAT WOULD BE UNDERSTOOD BY OUR AUDIENCE,” WAS UNACCEPTABLE. I WOULD SAY NOW THAT IT WAS WORSE THAN THAT, IT WAS COWARDLY. YOU HAVE MADE THAT CLEAR.

    WE HAVE REACHED OUT TO VARIOUS GROUPS AND ASKED FOR A CHANCE TO MAKE THIS RIGHT; TO RESPOND, WITH THEIR PARTICIPATION, TO THE EDUCATION THAT OUR AUDIENCE HAS PROVIDED US. THAT OPPORTUNITY HAS BEEN GRACIOUSLY GRANTED THIS THURSDAY MORNING, JUNE 11TH. AT 7:30 A.M.

    THE WORD APOLOGY APPEARS NO WHERE IN THIS LETTER FOR A REASON. WE ALREADY HID FROM DOING THE RIGHT THING ONCE AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. APOLOGIZING IN A WRITTEN, POSTED STATEMENT IS A FORM OF COWARDICE. WE WILL SAY WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID THIS THURSDAY.

    ON A FINAL, PERSONAL NOTE, AS THE LEADER AND OWNER OF THE SHOW, I HAVE MADE THE DECISION THAT WE NEED TO REFRAIN FROM BROADCASTING NEW EPISODES UNTIL WE CAN ADDRESS THIS ON THURSDAY . WE WILL RETURN TO THE AIR AT 7:30 A.M. JUNE 11TH.

    ROB WILLIAMS
    ROB, ARNIE AND DAWN

  49. Here is a list of all 10 sponsors that have now pulled advertising…
    Chipotle
    Snapple
    Sonic
    Bank of America
    Verizon
    Carl’s Jr (CKE Restaurants)
    Wells Fargo
    Nissan North America
    AT&T
    McDonald’s

    They still have a few local sponsors existing.
    I used to listen to the show, and one of the hosts’ recurring schtick was how much money they were making and how they “carried” the market. I hope this will be severely humbling.

  50. LMAO! That apology is hilarious for a couple of reasons. a) that’s an apology of somebody who’s job has been threatened b) It’s trans kids and allies who finally got these jackasses to wise up. Awesome! BUT I would bet their gooses are cooked even with the apology. The advertisers, which include financial groups already in deep deep doodoo with the public, are in boardrooms frantically going over past shows counting words like retard, fag,….
    I don’t think Wells Fargo or BOA will be coming back as sponsers. Mehehehehe

  51. I think dinner for me tonight might be a Chipotle burrito and a Sonic strawberry slush. Kudos to the sponsors who did the right thing.

    Like I need an excuse to go to Sonic and Chipotle. :)

  52. Valerie, I realize you were trying to educate people here and probably had the best of intentions, but one thing you said really sounded wrong to me (and though I’m not trans and can’t rightly speak for trans people, I’ll venture a guess that they might agree).
    Your last paragraph appears to criticize the decision of a former Navy Seal to transition MtF after retiring. You say that that irks you because it shows that he “wanted to be a woman but didn’t want to deal with institutionalized sexism.”
    1. Generally trans people don’t use the phrase “want to be a woman (or man),” instead, they say that they already are a woman (or man) and want surgery or hormones or whatever process they choose to make their body match what they already are. To say that “he wanted to be a woman” kind of erases her feeling that she was already a woman but wasn’t recognized that way by the world.
    2. Nobody except that person can decide when is the right time, if ever, to transition or to come out. Dealing with sexism is one big obstacle you’ve already identified; you can probably imagine that there would have been many more obstacles to this person’s transitioning while still in the Navy (think loss of job, loss of income & pension & health care). It just doesn’t seem fair to say that that person’s decision irks you.
    Maybe I read your comment wrong and what irks you is not the timing of the Navy Seal’s decision but rather society’s sexism that forced her to have to wait. If so, I agree.

  53. @ Jessica. You misinterpretted what I was saying. I was expressing a general irritation with institutional sexism . I don’t care when she decided to transition but I do care that people have to curtail the $exercize of basic human rights around the military’s homophobia. ¢

  54. Valerie – I’m glad you clarified, because (particularly with your use of the wrong pronoun) it sure looked like you meant it the way Jessica thought.

  55. Thanks for clarifying, Valerie, and I’m also glad that you didn’t take offense at my comment, since I might have come across as holier-than-thou.

  56. I’m glad they had to apologize. I hope there’s some legitimate contrition and not pure ass-covering going on there.

  57. (particularly with your use of the wrong pronoun)-

    that was/wasn’t intentional. I was speaking specifically about the time of retirement because she had not begun to transition at that point. I don’t know enough about her to know how she refers to her gender in the past tense but I suspect that she would use the masculine pronoun. I certainly wouldn’t refer to her as a he if that wasn’t her identity.

  58. The fact that women can’t be Navy SEALS is part of the point of the irk-ing, I would think. If one feels that they are a woman while simultaneously doing a job that only a man is allowed to do, that’s going to affect one’s choices involving surgery, drastically.
    Obviously I don’t know what the mindset was behind her decision-making, but I personally can’t see the military sexism thing NOT being a factor. The military is simply an uncomfortable/unsafe environment for someone who identifies as trans. It isn’t fair, and I think that’s what Valerie was originally trying to point out.

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