Rebecca Juro

Tonight on The Rebecca Juro Show: John Aravosis

Filed By Rebecca Juro | July 07, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics
Tags: AmericaBlog, Democratic Party, ENDA, John Aravosis, LGBT, LGBT media, trans

johnphoto300antedit.jpgTonight on the show it's gay activist and blogger John Aravosis. John is the editor of Americablog, one of the most popular progressive political news and commentary blogs on the Internet, as well as a consultant for progressive politicians and causes. We'll be talking with John about ENDA and other relevant LGBT issues, the Democratic Party and its relationship with the LGBT community, LGBT community media and its place in the overall movement for LGBT equality in America, and more!

While Aravosis has publicly said some pretty controversial things about the trans rights movement in the past, that's not where we'll be going tonight. Aravosis has a long history with the Democratic Party and its support and advocacy of LGBT-relevant political issues, and we'll be getting into how he sees the future of our movement on the political front and how LGBT - and especially trans - Americans can most effectively work on achieving our goals during the approach to the next election and beyond.

After the interview, we'll be taking your calls at 928-277-4921. Voice your opinion and your ideas on how we move forward in an era of unabashed Republican bigotry and inexcusable Democratic cowardice toward the goals of American LGBT and transgender equality.

(Tune-in info after the jump)

Tune in to our live stream at 7pm eastern (4pm Pacific) here:

We'll also be simulcast live on TransFM and we'll be checking in and taking questions at TransFM's chatroom!

You can also get in touch with us while we're live on the air with AOL Instant Messenger (RLJ5862), by email at, and you can Tweet me directly at beckyjuro. Questions and comments for John are welcome and we'll use the best ones on the air, but please remember that we're looking for substance and good questions, not attacks or accusations.

See you all tonight at 7pm eastern!

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As a matter of fact, yes, but that's not really the point. The real point of having him on the show is not about what he said five years ago, but what he has to say about what's going on today. I spent about an hour on the phone with him yesterday and so I know it's going to be a great and very worthwhile conversation. I hope everyone will tune in!

Becky... I still don't get your seeming need to have bonfide a*holes on your show. He's a blogger, not some great political expert... and a blogger who really has no respect for trans people. And I should want to listen to this why?

In politics, as in life, nothing is as black and white as it may at first seem. Tune in and see for yourself.

rebeccasf | July 7, 2011 7:22 PM

The only show of yours that I ever listened to was the one with A. Sandeen after her three part hit piece on Ashley Love. While I abhor the "I'm a transsexual and not transgender" crap in our community, letting Sandeen off with a single question (that wasn't even answered) was a cowardly move. I have no doubt that you'll do the same with this dirt bag!

Your cowardice will never again be rewarded with my listenership.

Yes, I can sometimes be an a*hole, but putting that aside for a moment, I was already one of the top online activists, and gay activists, in the country long before I started my blog. Blogging is just a tool.

rebeccasf | July 7, 2011 7:27 PM

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The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising.

Actually I talked about this a bit on the show after the interview, but for those who didn't listen I'll say it here too:

Ever wonder why Rachel Maddow always tries to get Republicans on her show? Because she agrees with their politics? Obviously not. It's because she knows that having guests who aren't always totally on the same page as she and her audience are makes for a better, more interesting, more informative show.

I don't need to agree with John Aravosis or anyone else 100% in order to want to have them on my show. What I look for in a guest, any guest, is do they have something worthwhile to offer to my listeners, something they should hear.

That's what it's about for me, doing my best to present people and perspectives that are important and useful for my listeners to hear. The way I see it, that's what a show like mine should be about, not about only presenting guests and information which I and my audience fully agree with all of the time.

Is it archived anywhere? I would have liked to listen live, but you know what they say about the best laid plans....

Not yet, but my producer Mike Scott promises that he'll have the podcast of the show up by Saturday. As soon as it's available for download, I'll post the link here and on my Facebook page.

Also, forgot to mention that you can also find the pod of the show when it's up as well as pods of previous shows at my podcast homepage:

Oh and hey, speaking of worthwhile guests, Jill I think it's high time my listeners heard from you. I'm especially interested in talking about workplace issues with you. Expect your invite shortly! :)

Yes, I'd also like to hear the podcast. I agree with your point about not only talking to people who are on the same page. I also have a healthy respect for John, and my guess is that like everyone else, he's evolving. (Jill likes her leetle joke.)

1) Looking for sound bites is NOT the same as 'more informative.'

2) You're not Rachel Maddow. I respect you and read your blog posts, but don't compare yourself with her. And, for that matter, I'm really bored with even seeing her talking to yet another right wing politician or hack.

3) No one is ever 'completely on the same page.' Ever looked at the LGBTQ alliance... I don't see preaching to the choir as an issue... I consider boring interviewers who are afraid to ask difficult questions as the issue.

4) I have tuned off of bloggers (like Pam Spaulding, for instance) who have a huge part of their content being about people I know don't respect me. I don't find it entertaining and after about a minute of learning the new jerk's name and why they aren't my ally, I don't really need to give them more time in my life. There are a LOT of interesting, cool, creative trans/queer people who aren't Donna Rose, Mara, Dan Savage or the usual characters. What I'm trying to say in a manner hopefully more respectful than Rebecca is that I don't feel like spending an hour with Mr. Aravosis and being surprised by what he has to say... I have other ways to spend my time.

First of all, Gina, I'm not comparing myself to Rachel or anyone else. Good journalism and good radio and television are universal qualities, regardless of who's behind the mic or camera.

The fact is, I'm not afraid to ask the tough questions. That's a big reason why I invite people like John Aravosis and Michael Cole-Schwartz on my show, so I can ask those questions. And for every guest like that who agrees to appear, there's probably two or three others who refuse. Sure, some are because they don't see little ol' non-commercial me as worthy of their time, but I'm quite certain that others avoid my invitations or just refuse outright simply because they don't want to answer the kind of questions they know I'm going to ask them.

Regardless, I'll continue doing what I do, doing my best to get the interviews, create the content, and voice the opinions I believe my listeners should hear. I may never get that interview with Barney Frank, but it won't be for lack of trying.

If there's anything I've learned since I started doing this back '02, it's that no one is right or wrong all the time, that there are shades of gray in everything and everyone, especially when it comes to politics. I've gotten into spirited on-air debates with people who I agree with the vast majority of the time, such as Marti Abernathey and Ethan St Pierre. Some of the shows the three of us have co-hosted with each other have had some downright legendary debates. In fact, when I have Marti on the show we go at it more enthusiastically than I usually do with most other guests.

If you feel my show isn't for you, hey that's cool. Who am I to say otherwise? I'll be the first to agree that I'm an acquired taste. At the same time, however, I'm privileged to have a pretty decent listenership, and I never forget that my first responsibility is to give my listeners what I believe they want and need from my show.

Interestingly, last night's show set a new show record for live listenership. I strongly suspect that had a lot to do with John Aravosis' name recognition and his own audience, but I am honored and humbled nonetheless. It inspires me to work even harder to make my show the best it can be, to keep those new listeners coming back for more.

The fact is, I wish that people like me and Ethan weren't the only ones doing this kind of trans-focused radio, but we are and in large part because of that I work my ass off to do the best show I can. If you're gay and lesbian there are plenty of choices, but not if you're trans. That being the case, I'll keep doing what I do and putting out the best work I can muster, because our community needs this kind of media, and because this is my passion and my activism.