A GLSEN study on the impact of student Gay Straight Alliances found that schools are generally less tolerant of homophobia, while LGBTQ students are less likely to hear gay slurs, more likely to perform well academically and feel safer in the classroom.
Wow, a supportive environment makes a difference for the well-being and academic progress of gay kids. Who would have thunk?
Not Gay and Beth of WLTF FM 92.9 and their parent company, Steel City Media. As I blogged last month, this morning duo allowed a caller to make a joke about a “dissing” tee shirt that read “If you aren't gay, why is your girlfriend calling me?” They ended the call and moved on. No comments repudiating a gay slur, nothing.
So, I complained using the form on the website, directed to the Program Manager. A few days later, PM Chuck Stevens told me would investigate and get back to me. The, I received an response from “Gary “
> in regard to your email…you had to be listening to someone else.
> there is no way you heard that with us. first of all, while it is
> impossible to meet the standards of every listener, i can assure you
> such a remark would not get by. if by chance you were listening to
> us, then it was taken out of context.
> i agree, such a remark is insensitive. it just didn't come from gary
> or beth. we value all our listeners and appreciate your input.
Huh. So, I took it out of context, even though there was “no way” it happened in the first place. I hope someone scripts this guy's witty banter, because wits are not his strong suit.
Note that I never said Gary & Beth MADE the comment — simply that they allowed it on the air and that they didn't put it into context with any comments of their own. There is no way on God's green earth they would let a comment about a dissing shirt that was racist or anti-Semitic on the air. But it is okay for a grown adult – a parent – to mock gay kids. That's the message from Gary & Beth in the morning.
I complained again to the program manager. In essence, he refused to take responsibility for the call. He claims that Beth's statement that she doesn't like those shirts is the same thing as saying that mocking LGBTQ teenagers is wrong. I don't like your shirt = picking on gay kids is wrong. I missed that in my thesaurus.
I proposed that Gary & Beth invite GLSEN onto the show to talk a little bit about the impact of intolerance in the schools. Mr. Stevens disregarded my suggestion. Shocked, are ya? WLTJ just wants me to shut up and go away. They have no intention of highlighting gay anything on their programs.
It is disappointing that Mr. Stevens didn't recognize an opportunity to undo potential harm caused under his watch. If he can't allocate one small segment to the message that all kids deserve a safe learning environment, what does that say about his station's priorities?
Gary & Beth. Homophobia in the morning.