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Transgender Journalist 'Dehumanised' By Comedian At Eurogamer Expo

This weekend, transgender journalist Laura Kate Dale (pictured, left) reported on her Twitter account that she was "completely dehumanised" by comedian presenter Fraser Millward (at right) during an Xbox One event at this weekend's Eurogamer Expo 2013.

According to Dale, Millward (who is not a Microsoft employee but rather a entertainer hired solely for the event) called her "he," "it," and "thing" during his presentation. Afterwards, the people running the stage reportedly apologized to Dale for being upset by Millward's actions, but refused to give her the performer's name or bring him forward so that she could speak to him. Dale later aired her frustrations via Twitter.

Dale_millwardKotaku — the Gawker-owned video game blog that initially reported Dale's tweets — was told by the Eurogamer Expo staff that they would comment on the matter only after concluding their own inquiry into the matter.

Kotaku reports:

"Microsoft's corporate posture is one of support for transgendered persons, through its GLEAM employee resource group, and the company has been visible in that support, notably sending a Halo Warthog and a Master Chief cosplayer to march in Seattle's most recent Pride parade."

After running the story, Dale contacted Kotaku asking them to please remove the article as it made her the target of even more transphobic abuse on Twitter. In reponse, Kotaku removed the link to Dale's Twitter account, but kept the story as per their editorial guidelines.

Gamespot.com's transgender game reviewer Carolyn Petit was also recently targeted for her gender identity. After pointing out the misogyny in the newest installment of the Grand Theft Auto game series, Gamespot commenters came forth with lots of transphobic insults and even created a petition to have Petit fired. Petit has endured this sort of abuse since she first started reviewing games as openly trans two years ago.

UPDATE:

PureXbox has an update with responses from Microsoft and Millward...

Said Millward:

"Staff apologised to her, but every single part of the first sentence of that tweet is made up. We called for more women so as to balance things up as there were mostly male gamers on stage, yes. There are ways of complaining in a mature way, but this is inflammatory and slanderous. 350 witnesses saw that this did not happen and that I didn't say those things. I would like to speak to her face to face to sort this out, but she's taken to Twitter and now I'm getting hundreds of tweets per minute....I referred to her as 'this person', at which point some of the crowd laughed. I should have diffused that situation, but I think that is what's caused this to happen. I did not refer to the woman as 'thing' or 'it' at any point."

Said Microsoft in a statement:

"We are aware of an incident today on the Xbox booth at the Eurogamer Expo, at which an inappropriate comment was made, and we apologise for any offence caused."

Millward also tweeted:

I’d like to express my sadness and dismay at what has ensued following a live stage event at the weekend. No offence was intended when I referred to Laura Kate Dale as ‘this person’ after I asked the audience to applaud her and I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any offence and hurt I may have caused. There will be no further comment or response regarding this matter. Signing off!

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Comments

  1. On the one hand, I am sympathetic to her. To be singled out for abuse is horrible. On the other, this guy is a comedian. Censorship is horrid in any form, no matter how well intended.

    We also only have her side of the events. Normally, my kneejerk reaction is to call for a boycott, but this time I'm not sure.

    Posted by: Robert | Sep 30, 2013 12:17:17 PM


  2. Unfortunately, this type of thing is common place. A co-worker of mine, who has been a comedian onstage, told me that they always get the biggest laughs from homophobic jokes.
    On the one extreme, comedians are not allowed to say the N word onstage and are not encouraged to do race jokes. On the other extreme they still do homophobic jokes, as well as this news issue here.
    Doesn't make any sense.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 30, 2013 12:56:47 PM


  3. Hi Robert! I would say that censoring him would only happen if the government were telling him what not to say. Microsoft is a private corporation that has been trying to prove their LGBT-friendly chops for a while, and they fully have the right not to involve themselves with him. And, while he is free to say whatever he wants, other people are also free to call him out for bigotry. I could understand that he is a comedian, but when you're at a consumer event, working for a company, then making specific people feel like garbage is really pretty far outside the job description.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Sep 30, 2013 12:59:24 PM


  4. @ "On the one extreme, comedians are not allowed to say the N word onstage and are not encouraged to do race jokes."

    Black comedians do it all the time. And Jewish comedians make fun of Jews. Irish comedians make fun of the Irish. Drag comedians make fun of other drag queens. And I guess Candadian comedians make fun of...I dunno...Michigan?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 30, 2013 1:11:33 PM


  5. @Derrick: Everyone makes fun of Michigan.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Sep 30, 2013 1:17:38 PM


  6. David From Canada, are you not aware that Russell Peters (of Canada) has built his successful career as a comedian almost entirely on the backs of racial stereotypes?

    Posted by: Knock | Sep 30, 2013 1:20:09 PM


  7. Censorship is when someone in power can control your ability to speak, and can back it up with punishment. The people do not have a power over this comedian. If everyone boycotted him it would NOT be censorship. It is impossible for some pleebs on the internet to censor anyone.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Sep 30, 2013 1:39:58 PM


  8. If you're heading out for the night in fake elephant ears and a rainbow wig, you might want to bring your sense of humor along as well...

    Posted by: Leman | Sep 30, 2013 1:47:23 PM


  9. Always always always look for other sources when you see something like this. Another source says that Laura was not humiliated intentionally or otherwise. The comedian did not refer to Laura as "him" or "it" he said, "this person" and he didn't ask for real women to come to the stage, he asked for more women to come to the stage because not surprisingly, most of the dorks who go to this sort of thing are male.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Sep 30, 2013 1:53:57 PM


  10. Unfortunately, transgenders often have a persecution complex. They need to create outside enemies so they don't have to look at themselves and their lives. With trans activists, it is even worse. There is a compulsive need to feel offended and to attack the villains who are slighting them.

    So every other week, there is some new villain attacking them. There was Dan Savage. And David Letterman. And HRC, which spends its time and money on their issues despite getting nothing in the way of contributions. They attack authors and artists and women festival-goers.

    They attacked a gay filmmaker because he considered drag queens to be transgenders. But just months later, they attacked PETA ad that uses the word "drag" in a negative way ("Fur is a drag"), because now suddenly trans does include drag and the ad is offensive to trans people. The rules change all the time in the psychotic world of trans activists. The only rule that is consistent is: everything offends us and you must constantly bow and apologize.

    The truth is that all of these hyped up incidents are trivial and don't involve any malice. The malice is on the side of trans activists, who show repeatedly that they are nastiest, meanest thugs around. The best approach to these thugs is to stand up to them. Do not apologize. Do not appease. They don't deserve it and it wouldn't work anyway.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 30, 2013 2:22:18 PM


  11. I think it's important to say that racist jokes, and jokes about race, aren't the same thing. Likewise transphobic humour, and humour around trans issues, aren't one and the same. Repeating the dehumanizing insults that many trans people face every day is a pretty terrible thing to do.

    Posted by: Maelys | Sep 30, 2013 2:24:45 PM


  12. pretty funny that the same people who labeled me cis without my consent and over my objection are now complaining about how other people refer to them.how about transgenders stop disrespecting others and then I'll get worked up over a comedian?

    Posted by: Elon | Sep 30, 2013 2:46:25 PM


  13. Funny thing: they really look like each other. At first I thought the two pics are of the same person.

    Posted by: darkorient | Sep 30, 2013 3:04:28 PM


  14. Calling someone a "he, it or thing" unacceptable.

    Getting called an "he, it or thing" while looking like that, is well, expected.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Sep 30, 2013 3:49:28 PM


  15. There is nothing funny about the high rate of transgender suicides, unemployment, discrimination everywhere, and murders.

    As long as these sorry excuses for comedians keep perpetuating the myth that we are an object...an "it" and not a fellow human being, others will continue to hunt and kill us as prey not worthy of living out our lives to completion. Transgender comedy is appallingly horrific for this reason and it must stop now.

    Posted by: Dee Omally | Sep 30, 2013 4:03:47 PM


  16. Yeah Dee. The comedian's joke is the reason there are murders. Idiot.

    Posted by: Shanna | Sep 30, 2013 4:29:34 PM


  17. If Dale dresses like an extra from a bad sci fi movie what does he/she expect?

    Posted by: jarago | Sep 30, 2013 5:21:07 PM


  18. I've read that the attendees were encouraged to dress up or wear costumes. Not that I'd ever say anything as crass as "dressed like that, she was asking for it" in such a context anyway.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Sep 30, 2013 6:12:05 PM


  19. trans people are just gay men whio have a straight guilt so they conform to society by changing sex and becoming "straight". Transsexuality is against gay rights!

    Posted by: litper | Sep 30, 2013 6:23:41 PM


  20. Maelys is channeling her inner Anita Bryant: "pretty funny that the same people who labeled me stright without my consent and over my objection are now complaining about how other people refer to them.how about gays stop disrespecting others and then I'll get worked up over a comedian?"

    As for Israel Luna, what a weirdly lopsided and hostile take you have, Hagatha. The controversy was over the fact that he used a slur as the title of his film, and the he played up the "violent trans woman" trope.

    It's weird how every other minority group is allowed to protest indignities and slurs and microaggressions except trans women. Nobody would have batted an eye at a protest of an exploitation revenge film named "Fightin' Fa***ts with Firearms," I'll betcha.

    Posted by: friday jones | Oct 1, 2013 1:18:42 AM


  21. I was going to say that I was amazed at how many people here are using very similar tactics to discredit Laura Kate Dale (and, in some cases, all trans* activists...yeah, okay) that would be done to other oppressed groups. Women. Minorities. Gay individuals.

    But I'm not really all that surprised. Just contemptuous.

    Posted by: Nesjen | Oct 1, 2013 1:26:00 AM


  22. the amount of cis gay people showing their transphobia in these comments is sickening

    Posted by: Willow | Oct 1, 2013 4:17:58 AM


  23. The immaturity displayed here is off the chart. #1, if the person identifies as female....then one would say "she"......not "he" or "it".
    by being so disrespectful and passive aggressive is a sophomoric attempt to humiliate.
    #2, this comedian first stated that he said nothing. He then stated that he may have said something, but, that what was tweeted was a lie. Messy and unprofessional.

    Posted by: Booth Pohlmann | Oct 1, 2013 9:20:18 AM


  24. The immaturity displayed here is off the chart. #1, if the person identifies as female....then one would say "she"......not "he" or "it".
    by being so disrespectful and passive aggressive is a sophomoric attempt to humiliate.
    #2, this comedian first stated that he said nothing. He then stated that he may have said something, but, that what was tweeted was a lie. Messy and unprofessional.

    Posted by: Booth Pohlmann | Oct 1, 2013 9:20:22 AM


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