Alex Blaze

LGBT organizing WIN

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 09, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Media, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Autumn Sandeen, boycott, kelley winter, kids, krxq, LGBT youth, organizing, protest, radio, seattle, talk radio, transgender

The other day Dr. Kelley Winters posted an action item about the KRXQ radio hosts who attacked trans youth on a segment on their morning radio show. Check out her post for the description of what they said if you haven't been following this item.

Well, the radio show hosts have promised an apology for this Thursday, and have also said that they want to have a transgender person and parent on their show to discuss this (who may well be TYFA XD Kim Pearson and PHB blogger Autumn Sandeen). They've said that the interview will be conducted in a "frank and positive manner."

This is a win, and it happened because too many advertisers pulled out (11 total, including McDonald's, Snapple, and Bank of America) after too many concerned people called them up and asked why they were supporting such violent transphobia.

Everyone who called in should be congratulated, and the two lead organizations - Trans Youth Family Allies and GLAAD - as well as the bloggers who shined a light on this - particularly Autumn Sandeen and Michael Rowe - should get a pat on the back for leading the way.

What makes this remarkable to me isn't what the radio hosts said - Michael Savage has said worse and no one's mobilizing against him (who are his advertisers?) - but the fact that people were able to put pressure on them when they attacked the youth. And that's what these battles come down to, questions of who we are and how we define ourselves, and the youth are the central battlegrounds for those disputes. It's no wonder the idea of trans youth breaks these people's brains more trans adults.

Here's Rob, Arnie, and Dawn's statement from their website:

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


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Very well handled I just hope that they follow through with their promises.

But don't forget it is rating period and stations will kill to up ratings and secure more advertisers. After 14 years on the air, I am suspicious that this flap may have been planned.