Open Letters to KRXQ Sacramento

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Parents of Gender Non-Conforming Children Speak Out For Tolerance

KRXQ Sacramento transgender apology moment: Rob and Arnie; their Mea Culpa, and mine…

Rob and Arnie of KRXQ may have been dissembling to save their skins on today’s show, an olive branch held out to the GLBTQ activists who cost the station 11 sponsors and counting, but if they were faking it, the fake was perfect. (More on faking it, and making it, below.)

You can listen to the broadcast here.

I would like to apologize for my own tone in some of my posts; I said I’d put aside my hate when I started this site, and at times, I haven’t.

In the end, we have to accept what people say—and then hold them to their statements. It is impossible know without doubt the content of another’s heart. We trust transgender people when they tell us what it is like to be inside their skin.

In the end, we have to listen to those who have made bigoted, homophobic and transphobic comments as well. If they tell us their statements were borne of ignorance, if they claim to be willing to learn, we have no choice but to hold our skepticism in abeyance long enough to see if having talked the talk, then can now walk the walk.

Many supportive families go through this experience; of faking it until they make it. After some research, intellectually they know that accepting transgender is the best course  of action, but their hearts lag behing their heads, and there is a grieving process for some that can take months or years.

If Rob and Arnie fake it until they make it, they will be no worse than many of us who are now accepting and supportive. If they slip back into old patterns of scapegoating and name calling, then it would seem, that the talk was just that. Talk.

The community of supportive parents and families needs to confer on what the proper response to Rob and Arnie is now. As a white met man who at one time might have snickered at the show, I may not be the best person to decide their fate. And of course, I won’t. I will share my opinion, as I urge all others to share theirs, in the marketplace of ideas.

For the record, it was abolitionist and Unitarian minister Theodore
Parker who first said, The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends
toward justice.1

It was abolitionist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker who first said:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

These are the words painted on the mural of my son’s accepting public school.

It’s a statement that helps me sleep at night.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this site.

Filed under: Calls to Action

Health Systems gives KRXQ a healthy boot in the ass

From The Sacremento Bee

HEALTH SYSTEM SEVERS TIES WITH KRXQ

Due to recent comments made by announcers on KRXQ about transgender children, and the lack of a public response from KRXQ management about those comments, UC Davis Health System has canceled its advertising on the radio station and ended its partnership with the station for Children’s Miracle Network fundraising.

Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, notified the station’s management of the decision in a letter dated June 8.

During the “Rob, Arnie and Dawn” show on May 28, the hosts described children who express transgender feelings as “freaks,” and said “I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down.” In the days that followed the show, the hosts defended their comments, and station management remained silent on the matter. As of June 8, at least a dozen companies have withdrawn their advertising from KRXQ. In her letter to station management, Pomeroy stated, “We affirm the right of freedom of expression, within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity and respect. The statements made by Rob Williams and Arnie States were outside those bounds.” Pomeroy also stated that hosts’ comments and the station’s “lack of a publicly articulated response” to them “are inconsistent with UC Davis’ values and mission.” In fiscal year 2008-09, UC Davis Health System spent $3,400 in advertising with KRXQ, and the station raised $126,000 for UC Davis Children’s Hospital through its support of the Children’s Miracle Network.

Filed under: Letters from Parents of Non-Conforming Children

The KRXQ mea culpa / we want our sponsors back Thursday Line-Up: Kim Pearson of TYFA, Autumn Sandeen of Pam’s House Blend

From Pam’s House Blend:

On Thursday (June 11 at 7:30 AM PST), Trans Youth Family Allies Executive Director Kim Pearson and Blend barista Autumn Sandeen, who was leading the charge on this story (along with HuffPost’s blogger Michael Rowe), are going on air, at the invitation of the station,  to discuss the issue. GLAAD has been on top of this and helped facilitate (with your help via calls to advertisers and the station) this development. (GLAADBlog):

KRXQ has assured us that the June 11th follow-up show will be conducted in a “frank and positive manner.” It was explicitly stated to us that we will hear an apology from the radio hosts and listeners will be able to call in. As always, we remind everyone to be respectful and civil when calling into the show.GLAAD has additionally suggested a transgender media training with our community partners. KRXQ was receptive to the suggestion and we will further discuss this following Thursday’s radio broadcast.

Media have been continuing to follow the story, garnering national coverage. Local media outlets in Sacramento have been especially helpful in covering this story – including The Sacramento Press,FOX40 and The Sacramento Bee. Community blogs have also been extremely effective in sharing updates on this issue and mobilizing readers to take action.

I spoke with Autumn today while she was on the road. She noted that this quick response by KRXQ to the situation is due to the power of the Internet – this was a story not covered by our orgs, most LGBT blogs or major media until activism caught fire — and yet advertisers were still contacted by enough of you to make this station buckle. Rob Williams and Arnie States might have thought they were having a grand old time on the air, but they realized you all meant business once their paychecks were on the line.

Filed under: Calls to Action,

KRXQ Sponsors who mysteriously aren’t sponsors who have no opinion

GLAAD adds to the new list list several additional companies that now claim they weren’t show sponsors. Several companies say they were never sponsors, or they weren’t sponsors in 2009. None of the non-sponsor companies, by the way, seem to have any opinions about the whole abusing transgender kids matter.

Huh.
State Farm’s carefully worded note is particularly, um, unsatisfying. Rather than just saying, “We’re not sponsors, get us off your site,” they ad this little qualifier.
Thank you for your comments regarding State Farm running advertisements on station KRXQ in Sacramento.  We have read your concerns and those of others with similar concerns.  We take very seriously each comment we receive.
State Farm has not advertised on KRXQ in 2009.  Once this particular show ran, we discovered that the station had not removed our company logo from their website and that mistake has been rectified.
So we get you don’t want your logo up there, you don’t want any hate mail, and you take the whole thing seriously…
We wonder what you think about laughing about abusing transgender kids, of course, as you seem to have skipped a dandy chance to voice an opinion on that.
There must be a PR handbook rule, that if you can wiggle out of an accustion of defaming a controversial minority, do so while being careful not to voice support for them. I mean, it makes perfect sense.
But we don’t have to like it.
Non-Sponsors with No Opinion now include:
State Farm
Albertsons
Hawaiian Airlines
Red Bull

Huh.

State Farm’s carefully worded note is particularly, um, unsatisfying. Rather than just saying, “We’re not sponsors, get us off your site,” they throw in this little qualifier.

Thank you for your comments regarding State Farm running advertisements on station KRXQ in Sacramento.  We have read your concerns and those of others with similar concerns.  We take very seriously each comment we receive.

State Farm has not advertised on KRXQ in 2009.  Once this particular show ran, we discovered that the station had not removed our company logo from their website and that mistake has been rectified.

So we get you don’t want your logo up there, you don’t want any hate mail, and you take the whole thing seriously…

We still have to wonder what you think about laughing about abusing transgender kids, of course, as you seem to have skipped a dandy chance to voice an opinion on that.

There must be a PR handbook rule, that if you can wiggle out of an accustion of defaming a controversial minority, do so while being careful not to voice support for them. I mean, it makes perfect sense.

But we don’t have to like it.

Non-Sponsors with No Opinion now include:

  • State Farm
  • Albertsons
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Red Bull

Filed under: KRXQ Sponsors Respond to Controversy

Sleep Train, Inc. Proudly Joins the Nice List: pulls support from KRXQ

Reply from Sleep Train, Inc.

Thank you for taking the time to write us regarding the comments made on the Rob, Arnie and Dawn show on KRXQ. Rob, Arnie and Dawn have done a good job endorsing for us for many years. However, this time they went too far. We do not condone their comments in any way and we have made it clear to KRXQ’s management, Rob, Arnie and Dawn that their conduct was unacceptable. Sleep Train is proud of our history of diversity and the inclusion of all the communities we serve. As a result, we have pulled our ads off of KRXQ until further notice.

Sincerely, Dale Carlsen

President The Sleep Train, Inc.

Filed under: KRXQ Sponsors Respond to Controversy,

Letter from KRXQ General Manager

Thank you for your feedback regarding the May 28th and June 3rd, 2009 broadcasts of “The Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show.” I understand the seriousness of the issue, and want to share with you a copy of a notice that has been posted on our website, www.krxq.net. During these shows, Rob and Arnie made what we, and they, recognize were completely unacceptable remarks concerning members of the transgender community, especially children. Accordingly, this Thursday, June 11th, 2009, the show will be dedicated to what we anticipate will be a forum to promote a better understanding among all listeners of the issues involved.
John D. Geary

Vice President / General Manager

Filed under: KRXQ Responds to Controversy

Guitar Center Drops KRXQ: Joins the Nice List

Finally, it should be noted that yet another advertiser has dropped their contract with the station. Guitar Center Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Norman Hajjar, directly reached out to GLAAD following emails from concerned community members.

Norman has provided us with this statement to share with our readers:

Last Thursday, I asked our media agency to speak to KRXQ about the outrageous comments made by their morning on-air team. I wasn’t satisfied with the station’s response. So we decided to pull our dollars from the station.

It’s simple: wrong is wrong. We don’t want our brand associated with such epic insensitivity.

Guitar Center now becomes the 11th confirmed advertiser to pull their contract from KRXQ.

Filed under: KRXQ Sponsors Respond to Controversy

From GLADD: KRXQ Trangender Outrage Becomes Teachable Moment

UPDATE: GLAAD Speaks with KRXQ Management
June 8, 2009 by Andy Marra, Senior Media Strategist @ GLAAD

At 11:45am EST, Cindi Creager, GLAAD’s Director of National News, and I spoke with the station manager at KRXQ.  GLAAD successfully made the case for a transgender person and a parent of a transgender child to appear on the Rob, Arnie and Dawn show. We are right now in the process of securing Trans Youth Family Allies Executive Director Kim Pearson and Pam’s House Blend contributor and transgender advocate Autumn Sandeen for the broadcast.

As yesterday’s statement noted, KRXQ will be airing a special show on Thursday, June 11 at 7:30am PST.  It should be noted that Autumn was one of the very first reporters to shine attention on the May 28th segment alongside Huffington Post blogger Michael Rowe.

KRXQ has assured us that the June 11th follow-up show will be conducted in a “frank and positive manner.” It was explicitly stated to us that we will hear an apology from the radio hosts and listeners will be able to call in. As always, we remind everyone to be respectful and civil when calling into the show.

GLAAD has additionally suggested a transgender media training with our community partners. KRXQ was receptive to the suggestion and we will further discuss this following Thursday’s radio broadcast.

Media have been continuing to follow the story, garnering national coverage. Local media outlets in Sacramento have been especially helpful in covering this story – including The Sacramento Press, FOX40 and The Sacramento Bee. Community blogs have also been extremely effective in sharing updates on this issue and mobilizing readers to take action.

Finally, it should be noted that yet another advertiser has dropped their contract with the station. Guitar Center Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Norman Hajjar, directly reached out to GLAAD following emails from concerned community members.

Norman has provided us with this statement to share with our readers:

Last Thursday, I asked our media agency to speak to KRXQ about the outrageous comments made by their morning on-air team. I wasn’t satisfied with the station’s response. So we decided to pull our dollars from the station.

It’s simple: wrong is wrong. We don’t want our brand associated with such epic insensitivity.

Guitar Center now becomes the 11th confirmed advertiser to pull their contract from KRXQ.

Filed under: KRXQ Responds to Controversy

Why wait till thursday? KRXQ Crocodile Tears? Reposted from a GLAAD comment thread

There are some who are questioning the timing of Rob and Arnie’s planned Thursday apology to the gender non-conforming community. Why wait till Thursday?

We thought this was worth considering. This is from the comment thread below the article.

Hey Meko…and everyone….they definitely will not resign. This isn’t big enough (sorry to say) for that. Same building a couple of years ago, a woman died at a radio station promotion (not on Krxq, but another station under same ownership). That was big enough to get the morning show fired.

This time, I think their apology will be sincere, BUT….Thursday? This is typically the biggest ratings day of any week for radio stations. The reason is kinda old and long, but just know, if someone is going to give KRXQ a ratings boost, it will come on a thursday. This is why they are “self governing themselves” to wait until Thursday.

So there is only some sincerity in their efforts. Not 100% real. And given Arnie’s continued gay bashing and misunderstanding of the alternative lifestyle that happens that is sprinkled throughout the year, doubtful this will be the last gay, lesbian, or tg incident from them!

Filed under: KRXQ Responds to Controversy

Sample Letters thanking the Nice Companies who pulled support from KRXQ

Using the newly posted dandy live mailto links, I sent this letter off to the companies that pulled out of KRXQ. It took about five minutes using the links. Well worth it.

To (Company name here)

As a concerned parent of a gender-non-conforming child, I wanted to thank you for pullling your ad support from KRXQ radio in response to Ron and Arnie’s comments regarding gender variant children. The family and friends of gender minorities will not tolerate the kind of hatred, and incitement to commit acts of violence which were part of the KRXQ broadcast.

You company acted quickly, and pressured KRXQ to issue, at long last, something that looks like a real apology.
We request that any return to doing business with KRXQ await the proof that this apology is real, and not a self-serving lie designed to lure back sponsors.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,
(My Name and address)

A more generic letter, for those in a ‘cut and paste’ sort of mood, follows.

To (Company name here)

I wanted to thank you for pullling your ad support from KRXQ radio in response to Ron and Arnie’s comments regarding gender variant children. There is simply no reason to tolerate the kind of hatred, and incitement to commit acts of violence which were part of the KRXQ broadcast.

You company acted quickly, and pressured KRXQ to issue, at long last, something that looks like a real apology.
We request that any return to doing business with KRXQ await the proof that this apology is real, and not a self-serving lie designed to lure back sponsors.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,
(My Name and address)

Filed under: Letters to Sponsors

About The Parents Speaking Out Here

Out of concern for our children's safety, all names used in this blog are pseudonyms. None of the parent's voices here have ever been a part of a national dialog on this issue; we have been narrowly focused on our own situations, trying to maintain a degree of privacy for our children. Some of us now feel compelled to speak, to dispel some of the ignorance surrounding this topic. Comments will be moderated; disrespectful and violent comments will be deleted and in the case of messages with violent intent, all relevant documentation will be sent to the appropriate authorities.

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