Bruce Parker

Transphobia on the Radio - Take Action!

Filed By Bruce Parker | January 12, 2007 9:14 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts
Tags: media, transgender

Earlier this week (January 9) on Z99.5, the Smiley Morning Show went on a tirade. As I understand it, tirades are not uncommon on morning shows, and so this in and of itself is not unusual nor particularly notable. However, the focus of their anger (read "fear") was none other than the sister of David Arquette, Alexis, a transsexual woman and actress.

The DJs on the show were discussing David when one of them remembered his sister, Alexis, and began to comment on her transition. The following interchange took place:

"But doesn't he have that she-male sibling?" (male voice)

"oh, yeah, I forgot... a "shim"... well, no wonder!" (male voice)

"I'd be stoned, too."(male voice)

"A "shim"?" (female voice)

"Yeah. UGH! That just creeps me out! To have someone not know what they are... and to have to deal with that... with someone in your family..." (male voice)

"Wait a minute... wasn't that the she-male in The Wedding Singer?" (Woman's voice)

Then, either a woman or two women... I am not sure... proceeded to say she/they loved "that guy."

This commentary is full of hatred and fear towards Arquette as well as the entire transgender community. To share your thoughts with the station and the Smiley Morning Show, please visit their comments page, call the station at 317.816.4000, or email the Smiley Morning show directly at [email protected]. These words of transphobia cannot go unnoticed.

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I left the following comment with the Smiley morning show:

The comments made this week about Alexis Arquette were completely offensive. Much of your listening audience is not only queer, but active in support of the transgendered community here in Indianapolis. Instead of critically examining the complexity of sexual identity, the morning show djs made a mockery of a complicated individual by limiting her (that's right, her) to an uncomplicated connexion between her identity and her genitals (while not acknowledging their own privilege). I challenge the DJ's of the Smiley Morning Show to check out Indiana's Transgendered Community's website at They are a welcoming group of very complex and interesting and kind people, and I invite you to contact me directly if you would all like to attend a gathering together to talk about this incident.

Best regards,
Tony Kariotis
(and I left my phone number)

Marla R. Stevens | January 12, 2007 10:14 PM

Yes, it's the exchange you quoted that's the real disgusting thing. Thanks for the heads up, Bruce.

I e-mailed them too! What nasty things to say!

I always thought that Mr. Smiley was more intelligent than what was demonstrated here within this format as presented. It difficult to accept the degree to which his image has been tainted in the minds of the more liberal-thinking audience. This is indeed a shame!