in Civil Rights

94.5 “The Buzz” Anti-Trans Rants

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I’ve received a few reports from local trans folk who state that during their morning show, 94.5 engaged in anti-trans rants. During these rants, station staff members purposefully used incorrect pronouns and repeatedly referred to trans people using the term, “it”.

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I sent an email to station managers this morning and am waiting for their reply. I was made aware of this issue when a community member sent me the following email exchange:

From: kimberly
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 9:08 AM
To: Theresa
Subject: comment this morning about Chaz Bono

I was really upset about the “HeSheIt” comment that was made severaltimes this morning in regards to Chaz Bono and calling HIM, “her”.  He is no longer “her” and NO ONE wants to be referred to as an “IT”.  I dated a transgendered person for over two years.  It’s dangerous and humiliating for a trans person toallow people into the secret of their birth sex, and for Chaz toallow the world into the whole truth of his reality, is a huge step for the trans community.  To call him IT is no different than to call a black person “nigger” on the air.  It’s dehumanizing and deserves an apology.  No human is less-than.  No human should be called “It”, and everyone deserves respect regardless .  I’m sure you didn’t realize how hurtfull your comment might have been, but Transgender is not a “choice”.  Just as gay is not a choice.  Just like a child doesn’t choose to be born with a cleft pallete.  It’s something that needs to be corrected.

I am a bi sexualfemale who was lucky enough to share a loving relationship with a man who was born with the wrong gender identity.  If you have any questions regarding what our experience was, or what others is, I would be more than happy to share with you further, or you can reach the Houston Trans Center.  They are GREAT there.  But Chaz, and the trans community,  deserves a, apology.

Thanks.
Kimberly

The station’s representative wrote back saying:

On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:22 AM, Theresa <theresa@thebuzz.com> wrote:

Hi! DO you listen to the show often?   I have some questions for YOU!

1)DID YOU HEAR ME talk BADLY or INSULT CHAZ BONO?

2)HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ME DO THIS IN REGARDS TO THE TONS OF GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER listeners who call???

3)Have you NOT HEARD ME ALWAYS PUMP GAY MARRIAGE, RIGHTS, ETC?

4)DID YOU HONESTLY just compare what I said to the “N” word?  AND TYPE IT OUT NO LESS??????

I would Be MORE THAN HAPPY TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT YOUR HARSH AND ACCUSITORY/ RUDE EMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you not hear us DISCUSS YESTERDAY the whole topic????  DID YOU NOT hear us throw out there that the transgender switch was NOT COMPLETE??????????

DID YOU HEAR ME DISS THEHOUSTONTRANSGENDER COMMUNITY! Ill tell ya NOW. I will eat this shit up.Illthrow it out there RIGHT NOW to the people who thoroughly listen to this show and we will see WHO deserves to give an apology.

Your RUDE and selective hearing could easily be called into action.

I appreciate you listening and taking the time to email me because you are concerned. YOU SHOULD think about putting the gloves away before you OPEN up this can!

Have a great day!

I am more than happy to answer any or ALL questions you have!

Theresa!

Apparently, today was the second rant. Another community member sent me the following email:

On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM, ———–@yahoo.com wrote:

Yesterday morning Rod Ryan referred to Chaz Bono as he then quickly went to she, shim, chude, and it. Then went on to say that well “she” still has a vagina so I can call her she still. I always liked his show and thought of him as a cool guy. I was very offended. He definitely needs some education on trans men.

Apparently the station has spent two days mocking the lives of trans people.

The two station managers I sent an email to were:

I’ve not yet heard a reply of any sort from this Clear Chanel owned station. If you’ve heard this station denigrate trans folks before or if you heard the show yesterday or today, please post your thoughts and feelings. Also, please post the show’s advertisers.

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The fact that modern media feels that it is appropriate to promulgate the same propaganda that known hate groups spread is simply unacceptable! The trans community suffers the highest bullying, murder, suicide and suicidal ideation rate.  Denigrating an oppressed group of American citizens might make for convenient laughs for an uneducated public, but we trans folk are the ones who pay the price for their “jokes” each and every day.

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I’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: “Clear Channel Eats Crow“ 

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      • I sent one to you privately via your facebook page. I want to wait for a response before sharing any additional information on this issue. I know a lot of people don't do this anymore but what helps is if someone was recording the show where the hate speech took place. An on air recording can go a long way.

        • Here's the outreach letter I sent to Clear Channel in Houston and Corporate. I am glad to see that you were able to get their attention.

          ——– Original Message ——–
          Subject: 94.5 “The Buzz” Anti-Trans Rants
          Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2011 14:45:53 -0700
          From: Michi Eyre <NOSPAM@recnet.com>
          To: eddiemartiny@clearchannel.com, lisacdollinger@clearchannel.com, TomCaseyCFO@clearchannel.com, JulioPRManso@clearchannel.com, LLowryMays@clearchannel.com, MarkPMays@clearchannel.com

          Eddie..

          You may want to read the following article: http://www.cristanwilliams.com/b/2011/08/25/94-5-

          While the over the air behavior of the air personalities was uncalled for, the e-mail response from station staff was even more unprofessional.

          REC Networks feels that the radio broadcast spectrum is a public trust and that trust should not be abused through the use of homophobic, racist or in this case, transphobic hate speech over the air.

          Clear Channel's own creed written by CC founder Lowry Mays encourages the core value of respecting the individual and success is measured by achieving leadership in the markets Clear Channel serves. While some may think that these values are intended for employees and customers (advertisers), you also need to remember that your customer base also includes listeners. They are the ones responsible for your ratings and purchasing your advertisers products and services.

          What happened on 94.5 The Buzz fell very short of Lowry Mays' feelings and as a advocate of community broadcasting and diversity, it fell very short of ours.

          I wanted to bring this to your attention. I don't like hearing about hate speech on the radio and as you can see, the transgender/transsexual community is one of the most oppressed minority groups with a very high rate of assaults, murders and suicides. Negative statements, non-factual statements, fear mongering and the incitement of "trans panic" contribute to these numbers. As a leader in the community and a trustee of the broadcast spectrum, I surely hope the Clear Channel
          Houston cluster takes appropriate action and makes attempt to reach out to the Houston transgender/transsexual community. These are people you are hurting.

          Sincerely,
          Michelle A. Eyre
          founder, REC Networks http://recnet.com

  1. Before I make any opinionated comments, I'd like to see what they said. How do we know that this wasn't taken out of context? HOWEVER, if Chaz is a "she" because of a vagina, then I am also a "she" and verily I MUST use the appropriate bathroom should I ever enter the building where these people work.