Report on the response to the 5/28/2009 KRXQ Sacramento radio hosts who promoted abuse of gender variant children and the story of the 8 year-old child that they ridiculed. Download MP3 of original program (8.3 MB). Link to GLAAD's Community Call to Action.
June 3, 2009 - PFLAG Sacramento writes the following letter to KRXQ General Manager John Geary.
Dear Mr. Geary,
As a pediatrician providing care to transgender and gender variant youth in Sacramento and Northern California, I am appalled that your station KRXQ would carry a program that espouses violence and intimidation against transgender children and that trivializes their condition. Gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition that has internationally recognized Standards of Care that help these individuals achieve happy and fulfilling lives.
Many gender variant youth suffer depression and despair resulting in a high risk of suicide, and the physical abuse and ridicule that your program hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States encourage against them are enough to further endanger their well being in their households and among their peers....
[These children] are not “freaks”, but citizens entitled to the same happiness and safety as anyone else.
This type of inflammatory material is NOT entertaining and ENDANGERS the lives of fellow citizens and our children.
I cannot estimate the damage you have caused by this broadcasting this misinformation to your audience.
I urge you to reprimand your program hosts Williams and States and require them to make a public retraction of their diatribe.
Carol F. Milazzo, M.D.
Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics
Member, Sacramento Pediatric Society
Member, World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Board Member, PFLAG Sacramento Chapter
cc: Rob Williams & Arnie States
June 3, 2009 - The radio hosts acknowledge receiving protests and give for an excuse "It was a joke."
June 7, 2009 - After a mounting worldwide outcry in protest against the broadcast and increasing loss of sponsors, the program is taken off the air and says it will broadcast an apology on Thursday June 11.
"UPDATED JUNE 7TH, 2009, 11:50AM (Home page of www.krxq.net)
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, ARNIE AND DAWN"
June 11, 2009 - The Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show returns to the air with a special 2½ hour program featuring as guests Kim Pearson from PFLAG TNET and Trans Youth Family Allies and journalist Autumn Sandeen.
Click here to link to the podcast of the program.
During the course of the program, Kim shared her experience as the parent of a transgender child, Autumn shared her story about growing up transgender, and many others contributed by calling in, including Joni, the mother of the 8 year-old Omaha trans girl who was the target of ridicule in the original broadcast.
At the end of the broadcast I went to the KRXQ studio and personally thanked John Geary, Dawn Rossi, Kim and Autumn for this service to the Sacramento and world-wide community. This was a milestone toward our goal of promoting all our children's safety.
Carol F. Milazzo, MD
Autumn Sandeen and Kim Pearson reflect on the KRXQ broadcast as interviewed on episode 124 of the Trans-Ponder podcast.
Support for Sacramento area families with transgender and gender variant children is available through PFLAG/TransFamilies Sacramento, and Sacramento Area Rainbow Kids.