Janet & Nick In The Morning's Take On "The Second Pregnant Man"

Thumbnail link: Jan & Nick In The Morning, KISS 98.5 FM, Buffalo, New YorkThis past  Wednesday (January 27th, 2010), Janet Snyder and Nicholas Picholas (on KISS 98.5 FM, broadcasting from Buffalo, New York) ran a segment on Scott Moore, “The Second Pregnant Man” during the Jan & Nick In The Morning show. During the segment, one couldn’t miss the disdain for trans men in Janet and Nick’s voices. Below is a thirty-second edited excerpt that captures some of what I’m sure come off as transphobia to many in the trans (T) subcommunity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community:

The full text of the exchange:

Nick: “Another pregnant dude… The world’s… ”

Janet: “Oh I saw this picture it makes me feel icky looking at it.”

Nick: “The world’s… Well… Huh…. Not a good looking pregnant guy, is all I’m saying. The world’s second pregnant man due to give birth in February his name is Scott – Scott Moore. Pregnant… With his first child… And his husband Tom. Now… Just to connect the dots here and make you understand how there’s a pregnant dude, both Scott and Thomas were born female and legally married in California – so they are… born female… switched over… did a ransfer there… Scott is still listed on his birth certificate as female and has not gone under the knife — he does take um, hormones and has had operations on some parts of his body but not all of them and is… very pregnant at this time due to give birth in February… Obviously ready to pop there’s another pregnant dude but that’s…”

Janet: “Ughhh!”

Nick: “But that’s just…”

Janet: “Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!”

Nick: “Ya know, well…”

Janet: “it’s just… You know what it is when I see a shot of a man with a pregnant belly?”

Nick: “It looks weird with a beard.”

Janet: “Mmmmmmm”

Nick: “Weird with a beard is all I’m saying.”

Janet: “Yeah, yeah…”

Nick: “So yeah.”

Janet: “So no.”

Nick: “There’s that…”

Janet: “…and I can’t even imagine why a guy would want to… Not…Lotta work… Kind of… Hard to do. I don’t know…”

Nick: “Yeah I kinda thought we had the easy job on this one. ”

Janet: “Yeah.”

Nick: “I mean way to take one for the team there buddy but uh you know?”

Janet: “Exactly. I dunno. ”

Nick: “Let you guys take care of that.”

Janet: “Go figure.”

[Below the fold: I ask a trans man what he thinks about this, as well as links to Facebook pages, a sponsor List, and petition site.]One of the things I wanted to know was what trans men thought of the pregnant man story, and of the coverage of the story. So, I asked my friend Michael Brown (that I know due to his efforts involving TransMentors International) for his thoughts:

I can tell you that trans men are divided on the issue of trans men giving birth. Many are incredibly angry, others are c’est la vie.

I know that many transmen have kids, all along for decades, when in all stages of transition. They didn’t have to become a media “sensation” overnight, they simply chose to conceive a child and that’s great.

I’m on the side of — if they’re a man, then don’t get pregnant. BUT — if they do, don’t take it to the media. Keep it low profile. Every individual has a right to govern their own body, including having a kid.

But being out in the news is not good right now, with society needing so much education and very susceptible now that “trans” is becoming a household word.

Perhaps more on point, Michael added this:

This whole situation pisses me off…. and maybe part of that is because they were obnoxious against trans MEN. I’m sorry, but us guys are least known in the trans spectrum, and about the only time we get anyone noticing us is either because of a hate crime (Brandon Teena), porn (Buck Angel) or PREGNANT men.

As citizens, trans people should no doubt be allowed to reproduce — trans men reproducing with the female body parts they are born with fits into the same spectrum of thought as a woman’s right to choose: Trans men have a right to choose also. And, of course, at some point the salacious sounding details of these pregnant man stories are going to bring out the worst in those who don’t consider that trans people might actually be human beings.

As I said earlier, I found the discussion of the pregnant trans man by Janet and Nick to be disdainful and hateful in tone.

There’s a Facebook group formed as a response to this segment: WKSE-FM Kiss 98.5 Buffalo Morning Show makes Transphobic Comments. On the group webpages, the owners of the Facebook Group list the contact information of the station’s sponsors.

There’s also a petition site up for the  parent company of the radio station, entitled Entercom Communication and the Mistreatment of the LGBT Community.

Y’know, if there was only one key thing the LGBT movement learned from Harvey Milk’s influences (and I’d argue we learned more than one key thing), I’d say it was how to reward advertisers that treat us well, and withhold dollars from those who don’t.

And, of course, the other lesson is from a Bayard Rustin quote I often take time to remind others of:

“[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That’s our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment.”

~Bayard Rustin; From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

In other words, for those of us who define ourselves as LGBT people and/or civil rights activists, our job in large part not to change the minds of people such as James Dobson (Focus On The Family), Donald E. Wildmon (American Family Association) or even Peter LaBarbera (Americans For Truth About Homosexuality) regarding LGBT people. It is instead to make sure that those who express anti-LGBT sentiments in public feel a sorrow-for-getting-caught expressing their homophobic and/or transphobic feelings, or an unwanted price for expressing those feelings.

It’s perhaps not surprising that many of the links to the Jan & Nick In The Morning have been removed from their website. Such as, the link to the show’s main KISS webpage has been taken down (which is why I’m also linking to caches in some cases), and one can’t get to the FaceBook page of Janet Snyder via the KISS webpage (the link through KISS has been rendered inoperative), but her FaceBook page is actually still up here. So, the radio station seems to be following the stonewalling and page/link removal game plan that was also first used when Sacramento’s KRXQ had their on-air trans issues — it seems a hoping by KISS 98.5 FM’s management that this will all just go away quietly.

I’m told many trans people have already asked the station and the hosts to apologize, and the station and hosts haven’t. My guess is that if pressure is brought to bear and advertisers start dropping the station, an apology would be forthcoming.


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