More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
UPDATE: KRXQ Responds to GLAAD's Call to Action
Yesterday, we alerted our readers to our work with Trans Youth Family Allies in responding to a reprehensible May 28 segment on the Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning radio show. The show is heard in Sacramento, California on KRXQ 98.5FM and Reno, Nevada on KDOT 104.5FM. You can find our original blog post about the defamatory comments here.
In a vile diatribe, radio show hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States spent more than a half hour making highly offensive comments about transgender children when discussing a recent story about a transgender child and her parents' decision to support her transition in Omaha, NE.
The two hosts encouraged child abuse as a so-called “cure” for their gender identity with even one host later suggesting shock therapy. You can listen to the entire segment here.
Yesterday, we reached out to KRXQ management to raise our deepest concerns and demand an apology for the radio broadcast. We not only called, but also emailed the KRXQ General Manager, John Geary.
GLAAD received a reply from Mr. Geary on Tuesday, June 2 at 9:21am EST.
I was out of the office yesterday, so I have yet to hear the segment in question. Let me review it and get back to you later today. Thanks. - John
After waiting for hours with no response, GLAAD issued a Call to Action demanding the radio hosts to apologize for encouraging violence against transgender children.
Because of the many supporters who reach out to the station and hosts, we received a phone call from John Geary at 5:00pm EST today. Geary let us us know that he took our concerns seriously and he claimed to have read all of the emails sent to him about the radio segment.
Geary also told us that the hosts plan to address this issue in the 7:00am PST (10:00am EST) hour on their Wednesday, June 3 broadcast (listen live here).
GLAAD has sent over key resources on transgender issues to inform the radio hosts on what kinds of obstacles transgender people face.
Rob Williams and Arnie States have become active contributors to a vicious cycle of ill-informed and cruel rhetoric. Such hateful speech has already shown its devastating effects on transgender people and the communities they belong to.
In 2008 alone, the Transgender Day of Remembrance reported 21 murders of transgender and gender non-conforming people, including:
- January 21, 2008: Adolphus Simmons, 18, (Charleston, SC) who was gunned down while taking out the trash;
- February 10, 2008: Sanesha Stewart (Bronx, NY), stabbed by an acquaintance and left to die alone in her apartment;
- February 12, 2008: Lawrence King, 15, (Oxnard, CA) shot in the head by a 14 year old fellow classmate
- February 22, 2008: Simmie Williams, 17, (Fort Lauderdale, FL) who was shot an dkilled; no arrests have been made;
- July 1, 2008: Ebony Whitaker, 20, (Memphis, TN) who was shot near a daycare center; no arrests have been made;
- July 21, 2008: Angie Zepata, 18, (Greeley, CO) who was beaten to death in her own apartment with a fire extinguisher;
- August 20, 2008: Nakhia Williams, 29, (Louisville, KY) who died 10 days after she was shot and beaten by a group of people outside her apartment;
- September 21, 2008: Ruby Molina, 22, (Sacramento, CA) who was found dead in the American River by fishermen in September;
- November 9, 2008: Duanna Johnson, 42, (Memphis, TN) who was shot to death just weeks ago by unidentified assailants on Nov. 9 after making news earlier when she was beaten by police officers in February. Johnson's lawsuit against the city of Memphis was still pending at the time of her murder.
- November 14, 2008: Lateisha "Teish" Cannon, 22, (Syracuse, NY) who was shot inside her car with her brother and friend;
- December 26, 2008: Taysia "Taysha" Elzy, 34, (Indianapolis, IN) who was shot and killed along with her boyfriend.
In 2007, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects (NCAVP) reported that 16% of their overall reports were motivated by anti-transgender bias, and that 231 transgender women filed reports of violence. Since violence is often underreported, and the identities of transgender murder victims often misreported, there is no way to know accurate numbers.
It should also be noted the Human Rights Campaign estimates that transgender Americans face a one-in-12 change of being murdered. Statistics from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) show that in schools 14.2% of transgender students report being physically assaulted as a result of their gender expression, while 30.4% experienced physical harassment.
We hope Rob Williams and Arnie States consider these important and sobering pieces of information when addressing the issue tomorrow.
GLAAD will be monitoring tomorrow's response by the hosts. Please continue to check back for any possible updates or alerts on this developing story.