New & Noteworthy:

Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
New York

Radio hosts call transgender people ‘nut jobs’ in rant over city health coverage

UPDATE: Hosts have been suspended 'indefinitely'
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
0

Update: 8:55 p.m. EDT:

WBZA Radio has just posted this statement to their Facebook and Twitter pages: “As a result of Kimberly and Beck’s hateful comments against the transgender community we have suspended them indefinitely.”

Update: Thursday, May 22, 2014, 6:30 p.m. EDT: WBZA has fired Ray and Beck. Story here


ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Rochester radio station’s morning show hosts have come under fire for a transphobic broadcast in which they mocked a new policy to provide transition-related health coverage to transgender city workers, and insulted a caller who dialed in to tell them they were being offensive.

WBZA radio hosts Barry Beck and Kimberly Ray

WBZA radio hosts Barry Beck and Kimberly Ray

Rochester officials announced Saturday that the will extend transition-related health coverage to transgender and gender non-conforming municipal employees.

On Tuesday, local radio hosts Kimberly Ray and Barry Beck of WBZA Radio 98.9 characterized the new city healthcare coverage with rants such as, “The dude can look like a lady and the city is going to pay for it!”

“Does that mean then if women want a boob job they’ll pay for a boob job because that’s only right,” asked Beck.

“The services that will be paid for under the new coverage – gender reassignment surgery, psychological counseling, because you’re probably a nut job to begin with!” adds Ray. “That’s my opinion.”

Listen:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The hosts continue their 12-minute segement to discuss transgender female athletes and how they should not be able to participate in sports in the gender in which they identify.

“When he steps up to the plate, doesn’t he have two bats?”

One female caller criticized the hosts, telling them they were “incredibly disrespectful towards transgender people” and that they shouldn’t spread misinformation, even as a joke, to which one of the male hosts (identified as Chris Konya) replied: “Thank you, sir” as the others laugh.

The Empire State Pride Agenda called the broadcast “ignorant and transphobic.”

“Not only did the hosts conflate sexual orientation and gender identity and make the ill-informed leap from medically-necessary care to elective surgery, they also degraded LGBT identities more generally, including the outrageous contention that transgender people are ‘nut jobs,’” said Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer, in a statement.

Ray has since tweeted: “Freedom of Speech includes the freedom to offend others,” with the hashtag #getoverit.

getoverit-tweet

WBZA has made no official comment on the broadcast.

Rochester officials announced Saturday that the will extend transition-related health coverage to transgender and gender non-conforming municipal employees.

Share this article with your friends and followers:
Comments