Rebecca Juro

This Week on The Rebecca Juro Show: NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling

Filed By Rebecca Juro | February 03, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: ENDA, LGBT, media, politics, radio, transgender

With the Republicans now in control of the House and the introduction and passage of LGBT-protective federal legislation a pipe dream for the next couple of years at minimum, where do we go from here? We'll explore that with National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling, who joins us this week to talk ENDA, the upcoming release of the Transgender Discrimination Survey, and more! Plus we'll have news, commentary, music, and your phone calls! It all kicks off at 7pm eastern on The Rebecca Juro Show. Don't miss it!

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No offense Becky, but this is worse than the gun-lovin', Ron Paul supporting trans woman from last week. I honestly don't think I could listen to Mara for more than 5 minutes without being physically ill. Nor am I interested in hearing her perspectives about ENDA and am totally over her being considered any kind of spokeswoman for the trans community. My preference is to ignore her and hope she dries up and blows away.

I'm all about the discussion and the debate on my show, Gina. I go out of my way to have those who I agree and disagree with on the show. Frankly, if all I ever had on were people who agreed with me 100% of the time it would be pretty boring.

If you're interested in learning more about what went wrong with ENDA last session and what we can and should do now in the current political climate, this will be a good interview to check out. Plus of course, there's the whole rest of the show, which I think is pretty damn good if I do say so myself (and I do).


C'mon Gina. You mean you don't want to invest an hour of your time listening to the Quisling tell us all about her good buddy John McCain?

Geeze, Louise... just like any other content that people find objectionable, if you don't want to hear it, don't listen. Don't try to cow people into not producing it in the first place.

Rebecca, is there a way to hear the program other than live?

Yes, We'll have a podcast of the show up probably sometime tomorrow. Check my Facebook profile tomorrow afternoon.

And thanks Rory, I feel the same way. I hope everyone will listen and make up their own minds about what they hear, but in the end, as always, it's all about personal choice.

As long as people are substanitive and respectful, Rebecca, I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to hear that. It's as if some people are so insecure in their own positions that they can't bear to hear another point of view.

However, as was previously stated, no one need listen to anything they don't want to.

Thanks for the link.

The pod has been slightly delayed, but it's coming, hopefully sometime today (my producer is dealing with a migrane), so keep an eye out.

Ok the podcast of last week's show with Mara Keisling is finally up! Get it on my FB profile or on I-Tunes (RSS:

Rory, and when did I say no one should listen to it... just that I wouldn't listen to it. Way to project.

And anyone who's at all active in the trans community would know that a large portion of trans people have serious issues with Mara, her history as an 'activist,' her relationship with the HRC, and how she's performed (or, rather, not) on a host of issues. At this point she has precious little credibility. No one's suggesting Becky have innocuous guests with who she agrees with, but I suspect Becky would understand that, if she had say, Barney Frank on her show, a lot of trans people would tune it out. It's called the marketplace of ideas.

Moreover, Mara has already had more media exposure than perhaps any other trans person in politics. Good luck Becky with trying to get another ounce of water out of that stone, but I'm choosing to not come to the well.

I've tried to get Barney Frank on my show a while back, but his press guy flatly refused and was quite nasty and demeaning about it. He basically told me, in so many words, that Barney had no interest in talking to an independent grassroots non-corporate media peon like me.

Despite that, if somehow I could get Barney Frank on my show now, I'd do that interview in a heartbeat, and I'd put every erg of skill and effort I could muster into giving him a fair but also direct and relevant interview, asking him the questions relevant to our community and the issues which matter in our lives that the corporate mainstream pundits he interviews with so often never bother asking him.

Why? Because we deserve answers too. Because any political leader who claims to represent us and our interests should at least be willing to talk to us and answer our questions as openly and honestly. Because we're Americans and we matter too.

I know perfectly well that interviewing Barney Frank would likely be a rather lively event and would probably include some contentious moments. I'm ok with that. Congressman Frank doesn't have to love me, or even like me. All I want him to do is answer my questions, openly and honestly.

I don't know about you, but I think that's the very least transgender Americans should be able to expect from someone like Barney Frank, don't you?

Becky, I think you're a wonderful columnist and I've heard some informative and fun moments on your show. But at this point in time, hearing or even debating/encountering Mara or Barney is a waste of time for me. They've gotten plenty of airtime. They say same the same thing time and time again. There is nothing new to be learned from either. Moreover, I don't trust either one, so why should I think that just because a thoughtful person is interviewing them I'm going to learn something new? Barney is not going to answer your questions openly and honestly... nor is Mara. So why listen to them, so I can get agita hearing to their doublespeak?

This is a very diverse community on so many different levels--race, economically, politically, and certainly in terms of gender identity/expression. Monica Roberts just had a fascinating interview with an African-American trans woman who transitioned in the mid- 1960s, worked as a teacher and has been on the forefront of AIDs prevention. We need to hear more of those stories. She's made a real difference in people's lives and hasn't done it by being endlessly quoted in the media every time a trans-related issue appears. That's where the true power and glory of the trans community will be expressed.

I couldn't agree more with the latter point, Gina. I think we need to put more trans citizens and more citizen/activists on the map, so to speak, to make it clear that these are *not* Beltway issues, that trans people are not an abstract "they," that we're full-fledged participants in our country's daily life.

That's where we disagree, Gina. I believe that there's almost always something new to learn, whether we happen to agree with the source personally or not.

If there's any lesson I've learned over the years from doing what I do, it's that no one is right or wrong 100% of the time. Also, if we want to have the tools to effectively confront and debate those we disagree with, we must first know what their arguments are in order to counter them. Refusing to hear what they have to say and what their arguments are only helps the other side because then we are less well-equipped to argue the case for our own side.

I tend to see informing myself and my readers and listeners about what the other side is saying about us as arming the community with the information needed to defend itself from those who would use those arguments against us.

In order to win we have to be at least as well armed as our opponents. Refusing to become familiar and well-versed in the weapons/arguments the other side plans to use against us doesn't help us win the day, it just puts us at a greater disadvantage.

And for the record, I don't see Mara as on the other side. We may not agree 100% on everything, but I believe she takes a lot more crap from the community than she deserves, crap that should really properly be directed at our true enemies. In the end, when we're facing our true enemies, those who would deny LGBT Americans first-class citizenship, we're really all on the same side.

I don't see Mara as on the other side.
Then your eyes aren't open wide enough.
I've tried to get Barney Frank on my show a while back, but his press guy flatly refused and was quite nasty and demeaning about it.

Looks like Diego's presence in the Inner St. Barney Sanctum is really paying off, eh?

Actually, that happened pre-Diego, Kat. The guy who'd been in that position before Diego, Joe Racalto (sp?), called into my show the night I had Donna Rose on and suggested that I get in touch with Barney's office and try to arrange an interview. He seemed to think it wouldn't be a problem, so I promised on-air that I would and wrote Barney's press guy (Steve something, as I recall) to schedule the interview. The response I got was what I described above.

I will note that Diego has been on the show to talk issues, and I hope to have him on again. At the same time, I'd still like to be able to ask Barney some questions myself, because while Diego is certainly terrific guest and represents his boss well, there's always something to be said for hearing it from the horse's mouth.

I will note that Diego has been on the show to talk issues
including providing the ENDA mark-up language?

Didn't think so.

Actually no, Kat. Before we returned last month, we were off the air for two years. When the markup language was an issue this last go-round there was no show to invite Diego on.

It sounds like you're accusing me of something, Kat, but I really don't understand what that might be. If the charge is interviewing people you don't like, well ok, guilty as charged and I make no apologies for it.

As I've said before, my goal with my show isn't to have on people who everyone agrees with all the time (as if that were even possible), but to have the most interesting and thought-provoking guests, commentary, and news, and maybe have a little fun along the way.

In my opinion, Barney Frank would be a very interesting and thought-provoking guest, as was Mara, as have been all the guests I've had thus far and hopefully will have in the future. That's my main criteria in selecting guests to invite on the show: Who can best inform my listeners of what they should know or need to know? Who can best help make my listeners better informed on important issues and topics than they were before they tuned in?

That's what I'm about and that's what my show is about. Anyone who reads or listens to me knows I'm never shy about calling those who deserve it in print or on radio, but at the same time I'm not going to turn a deaf ear to anyone relevant just because I happen to disagree with them, in whole or in part. The real question for me is not does a potential guest agree with me, but rather do they have something worthwhile to say.