Transgender journalist and gamer Laura Kate Dale was completely dehumanized at an Xbox One event during the Eurogamer's Expo in the UK last week. She says British comedian Fraser Millward called her "he", "it", and "thing" on stage in front of a large audience. She took to twitter to voice her hurt and frustrating tweeting,
Hope someone from Microsoft sees this. Your presenter made completely dehumanised me in front of an audience. Ruined my Eurogamer.
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) September 29, 2013
Apparently someone from Microsoft saw the tweet and offered a swift apology: "We are aware of an incident yesterday on the Xbox booth at the Eurogamer Expo, at which an inappropriate comment was made, and we apologize for any offense caused," read the company's statement. Microsoft has championed lgbt rights for decades and received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index, which rates companies on their LGBT inclusive policies. They also have a very active LGBT employee research group called GLEAM which boasts over 700 members. Reducing transgender people to merely the butt of jokes is no laughing matter, yet this vitriolic type of humor is pervasive and unfortunately widely accepted as ok. The ambivalence about anti-trans jokes can lead to transphobia and violence. Microsoft is considered an ally to the community and we hope that it will be more proactive about communicating its value of inclusion to everyone that works for the company.