WXXI Local Stories
Thu May 22, 2014
ROC Radio Hosts Fired After Mocking Transgender Community
Two local radio personalities have been fired for making offensive remarks about the transgender community. That's after the City of Rochester announced its new healthcare plan to transgender employees and their families.
Radio hosts Kimberly and Beck of "The Breakfast Buzz" on 98.9 The Buzz made the comments during a 12-minute portion of the show on Wednesday.
After being suspended indefinitely on Wednesday, on Thursday, the vice president and general manager of Entercom Rochester, Sue Munn, issued a statement saying “their hateful comments against the transgender community do not represent our station or our company. We deeply apologize to the transgender community, the community of Rochester, and anyone else who was offended by their comments.”
John Cullen is the coordinator of Outreach with the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University of Rochester. He is also the chair of the Pride Alliance at the school.
Cullen says this situation shows that there’s a lack of education and awareness about transgender individuals.
"And that leads to ignorance… I think it’s a pivotal moment as well for the transgender community and when we look at Entercom radio on how they dealt with this so swiftly."
During the radio show, Kimberly and Beck made comments about a high school student who was born male and now plays on a girls’ softball team. They also mocked the mental health status of transgender individuals and how city taxpayers would be footing the bill for transgender reassignment surgeries.
Research shows that transgender individuals’ overall health improves when they receive treatment as it relates to transitioning, Cullen says. That's with respect to mental health issues.
"Treatments for individuals who are transgender it’s not optional, in any meaningful sense. It's considered a medical necessity.”
Cullen says that’s according to the American Medical Association and the Medical Physiological Association.