Open Letter to Pittsburgh On-Air Radio Talent From Father of Black Trans Teen

Sean O’Donnell and his family have had a rough year coping with a transphobic neighbor’s harassment. They’ve responded by holding her accountable in multiple courts of law and by supporting the #ProtectTransKids projects. Hearing the transphobic ad airing in Pittsburgh’s media market is a step too far. After he learned that the staff at KISS 96.1 took a stand and were successful in having the ad removed from rotation, he decided to contact every other on-air personality individually and plead with them to have the same courage and moral principles. This is his letter to the on-air staff at KDKA Radio, WDVE 102.5, WAMO 107.3, WISH 99.7, WLTJ 92.9, WXDX 105.9, and WDSY 108.. Note that organizers of Pittsburgh Pride Revolution have banned all of these stations from any participation in future Pride events.

Sean has been a warrior this entire year for trans kids in particular. Please stand with him.

Please share this on social media and tag the hosts, producers, and other talent. Feel free to tag me so I can track for Sean. ~ Sue


My name is Sean O’Donnell. I live in Pittsburgh with my husband and our four adopted children, including our 15 year old transgender daughter.

This past summer our family was harassed by a neighbor who erected a 9 foot tall sign in her backyard beneath my daughter’s bedroom window. The sign read: “Transing kids is abuse and homophobia”. A local magistrate found this neighbor guilty of harassment (this has been going on for two years and the sign was the tipping point in a long line of harassing behavior).

I am contacting you today because I am hoping you will stand with me as I stand up for my daughter and other trans kids in your listening area.

Recently your station began to run a disgusting political ad attacking trans children. The ad, paid for by former White House Advisor Stephen K. Miller, is both cynical and dangerous. The ad pretends to care about the welfare of trans children, but the reality is this cynical “Save the Children” routine is an oft-used tactic among radicalized anti-trans extremists, who care nothing for trans kids but seek only to use them as props as they attack trans persons in an attempt to further divide our country.

This hateful and factually inaccurate ad places every trans child in Pittsburgh in danger.

Children like my daughter who are routinely called “tranny” and “freak”. Children like my daughter who cannot even open the curtains in their bedroom for fear they will be assaulted by another transphobic sign. Children like my daughter who are already at a higher risk of suicide, self-harm, and mental health crises. Children like my daughter, who are nothing more than pawns for cynical adults three times her age who should know better, but for whom there is no low. And to what end? To score cheap political points and sow discord at the cost of our children’s safety.

It’s shameful.

I understand that you are not responsible for the content of the ads played on your station. I realize these are decisions made by other people. Still, I am asking you to stand up with me to help protect people like my daughter.

The on-air talent at Pittsburgh’s KISS 96.1 recently came together and approached management about this irresponsible and dangerous ad. They threatened to take action if the ad was not removed. As of today, KISS 96.1 has stopped playing this harmful ad.

I hope that you and your co-workers will show the same strength. Your courage will send a clear message to my daughter and all of Pittsburgh that in our city we Protect Trans Kids.

Thank you,

Sean O’Donnell


For more information on the Protect Trans Kids projects, click here.

Transphobia Pittsburgh
Handmade sign neighbor erected in her backyard directly facing the window of a 15-year-old Blackc trans teen girl.
Protect Trans Kids
Request a sign or sticker by clicking on the image

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