Thursday, May 22, 2014

Rochester radio hosts fired after suggesting transsexuals are mentally ill

by Kirsten Andersen

ROCHESTER, NY, May 22, 2014 ( – Two Rochester-area radio hosts have been fired after a twelve-minute segment in which they criticized the city for agreeing to fund sex-change procedures for its employees and dependents, and implied that would-be-transsexuals are mentally ill.

Radio hosts Kimberly and Beck of “The Morning Buzz” talk show were fired early Thursday for comments they made during their Wednesday morning show.  During the course of a segment covering city health coverage for self-identified “transgender” people, the duo slammed the city’s decision as a waste of taxpayer dollars and asked why costly elective sex-change surgeries and treatments should be paid for by the city, but not breast enhancement surgery or Botox for women who are similarly unhappy with the way they look.

Kimberly, however, approved of the provision granting psychological counseling to so-called “transgender” individuals, saying that anyone wanting elective surgery to pass themselves off as the opposite sex is “probably a nut job.”

Entercom, the company that owns the show’s home station 98.9 FM, suspended them as soon as they went off the air Wednesday, calling their comments “hateful.”

Kimberly took to Twitter to defend herself, writing, “Freedom of Speech includes the freedom to offend others. You aren't granted a right to not be offended in this life #getoverit #ROC.”

But in a follow-up statement released Thursday morning, it was announced the pair had been fired.

“This morning Entercom fired Kimberly and Beck effective immediately,” Entercom wrote. “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. We are proud of our past work on behalf of the local LGBT community and we remain committed to that partnership.”

While Kimberly’s assessment of people struggling with gender confusion may have lacked tact, it is true that the American Psychological Association (APA) classifies gender dysphoria – defined as “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender” – as a mental illness, and studies show 41 percent of people who suffer from it will attempt suicide at some point in their lives.

While transgender advocates have pushed hard to have sex-change procedures accepted as basic medical care for those who struggle with gender identity issues, not all psychiatric experts agree.

Massachusetts-based psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow has been outspoken in his opposition to normalizing radical sex-change surgeries and hormonal treatments, especially as activists press doctors to start such treatments at younger and younger ages.

What causes a person to feel ‘trapped in the wrong body’ is a question that needs to be “reopened” by the psychiatric community, Ablow told LifeSiteNews, after major transgender-acceptance legislation went into effect in California early this year.  “We don’t know as psychiatrists precisely where any fixed and false belief comes from, and if it turns out that people who think they are locked in the wrong gender body could have been approached with something other than a scalpel, then we’ll be responsible as a field for not having been more diligent in seeking those answers as to where this comes from.”

Dr. Kenneth Zucker, the head of the APA task force in charge of gender identity issues, agrees.  He has compared gender dysphoria to a mental illness like depression, which ranges from the situational to the chronic.

“For some people,” he told LifeSiteNews last year, “major depression is a lifelong condition that never goes away.  But there are some people where the symptoms can be lessened through therapy or treatment, and for some people, it goes away completely, either through treatment and medication, or on its own.”

“I think it’s the same thing with gender dysphoria,” Zucker added. “For some people, it’s a lifelong condition, and there are some people for whom it comes and goes, or goes away completely.”

Zucker said he thinks his job as a therapist is to find the treatment that will increase the likeliness that a patient’s gender confusion or ‘dysphoria’ will go away – not jump straight to invasive, irreversible procedures like sex change operations that may actually make the problem worse in the end, like in the case of the female-to-male transsexual in Belgium who asked for – and was granted – permission to be euthanized when she was unhappy with the results of her procedure.

Rochester will begin offering sex-change procedures to its workers and their dependents on January 1, 2015.

Meanwhile, “The Morning Buzz” has been canceled.  Until Kimberly and Beck are replaced, morning listeners to 98.9 FM will hear music instead of talk.

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