John M. Becker

UPDATE: Rochester Radio Hosts Fired After Ugly Transphobic Rant

Filed By John M. Becker | May 22, 2014 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Media, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: morning shows, radio segments, radio show, Rochester, trans athletes, trans health care, trans stereotypes, trans-inclusive healthcare, transphobia

kimberly-beck-rochester-transphobic.jpgUPDATE: Just after this post was published, Sue Munn, vice president and general manager of Entercom Rochester (the company that owns 98.9), released a statement reaffirming the company's commitment to Rochester's LGBT community, apologizing for Kimberly and Beck's hateful comments, and announcing that they've been fired, effective immediately.

Yesterday morning, Kimberly Ray and Berry Beck -- radio hosts of the Breakfast Buzz on Rochester, New York's 98.9 The Buzz -- took to the airwaves to pillory the city of Rochester for its newly-announced trans-inclusive city employee health insurance policy.

Kimberly and Beck unleashed one vicious attack after another in a outrageous twelve-minute volley of transphobic ugliness. Ripping a page out of the Fox News playbook, Kimberly laughed: "So the dude can look like a lady and the city is gonna pay for it!"

Aaaaand cue the Aerosmith song.

It only got worse from there. From jokes about boob jobs and slippery slopes -- "If some woman can go to a doctor and... [prove] that she's got mental issues because her rack's not big enough then you know what? She deserves a boob job, right Kimberly?" -- to attacks on trans people's mental health and crude jokes about a local trans female high school athlete ("When he [sic] steps up to the plate, doesn't he [sic] have two bats?"), the segment was shockingly vile. And when a woman called in to reprimand the hosts for being so disrespectful towards trans people and correct some of the misinformation they were spewing on-air, they repeatedly cut her off, laughed at her, and called her "sir."

Later, in the face of outrage from listeners and LGBT advocates, Kimberly doubled down on her comments on Twitter. She wrote: "Freedom of Speech includes the freedom to offend others. You aren't granted a right to not be offended in this life." (The tweet has since been deleted.)

But the radio station was having none of it: according to a report from GLAAD, the radio station released a statement saying that the two hosts have been "suspended indefinitely" due to their "hateful comments against the transgender community."

Good on the station for doing the right thing, and demonstrating to the hosts -- and the Rochester community -- that transphobic bigotry cannot go unanswered.

Audio of the segment is after the jump.

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