Kimberly and Beck | News | Transgender

Transphobic Rochester Radio Host: 'Freedom of Speech Includes the Freedom to Offend Others'


Radio host Kimberly of Rochester 98.9's Kimberly & Beck 'Breakfast Buzz' show tweeted this shortly after our story broke about the duo's disturbing transphobic segment.

The Empire State Pride Agenda has also released a statement:

The following can be attributed to Empire State Pride Agenda’s Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer:

“The ignorant and transphobic segment that recently aired on Rochester’s radio show, “The Breakfast Buzz” with Kimberly & Beck, is highly offensive to New York’s LGBT community. The segment, aired in response to Rochester’s announcement at our Spring Dinner on Saturday that municipal employees will have access to transition-related healthcare, contains sound bite after sound bite of misinformation and hate speech.
Not only did the hosts conflate sexual orientation and gender identity and make the ill-informed leap from medically-necessary care to elective surgery, they also degraded LGBT identities more generally, including the outrageous contention that transgender people are “nut jobs.”
Transgender individuals face disproportionate disparities when it comes to their health and well-being, including this type of harassment as we’ve seen on “The Breakfast Buzz.” The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and many other organizations agree that transition-related health care is medically necessary and should be covered under public insurance plans. Providing transgender New Yorkers with medically necessary health care is actually a cost-saving measure. Taxpayers will likely see savings related to mental health, suicide attempts, HIV, substance abuse and other costs that occur when transgender people cannot get their transition-related health care needs met.
Rochester’s announcement that city employees will be covered is positive news that should not be misguided by the ignorance of radio hosts looking for ratings. This offensive segment underscores the need for increased education and for the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), so that all New Yorkers know it’s not acceptable to discriminate against someone just because of who they are.
We call on the radio show and its hosts to issue a formal apology immediately and to seek the education we’re extending on issues of importance to its transgender and gender non-conforming residents.”

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  1. It certainly does mean that you are free to offend -- but it does NOT mean that you are free of the consequences of that speech. Until the government arrests you for saying something, you have exercised that freedom. If, however, the consequences of that speech are that people don't want to associate with you, or buy products you endorse, well, that is NOT a freedom of speech issue -- that is merely the consequences coming back to bite you in the ass. Don't whine "Freedom of Speech" when all you really desire is to be free of consequences.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | May 21, 2014 2:38:04 PM

  2. @Alex Parrish - Succinctly stated!

    Posted by: Marvin | May 21, 2014 2:47:24 PM

  3. Just finished watching a news report about a Navy Seal who transitioned from male to female. It showed him, big male bulky body and all, walking on the beach in a woman's bikini saying, "I am who I am."

    I feel sorry for any child on the beach who had to see that.

    Posted by: Hmmm | May 21, 2014 2:47:42 PM

  4. Seriously, Trans individuals are disgusting and need help.

    Posted by: Hmmm | May 21, 2014 2:50:30 PM

  5. Seriously, Trans individuals are disgusting and need help.

    Posted by: Rick | May 21, 2014 2:50:38 PM

  6. Alex hit the nail on the head. Words have consequences.

    Posted by: acorlando | May 21, 2014 2:51:34 PM


    HMMM, Kimberly, you're both being shown the door.

    Posted by: Rrhain | May 21, 2014 2:51:38 PM

  8. Conservatives are rallying around their freedom to spout anti-LGBT hate speech while completely ignoring the responsibility to be civil toward one's fellow human beings, in other words the Golden Rule.

    Just another sign of the continuing fall of the GOP:

    Posted by: Josh | May 21, 2014 2:56:30 PM

  9. I'm rather enjoying watching the Twitterverse slap this bigoted piece of work down. The responses to her tweet are quite priceless.

    Posted by: shaun | May 21, 2014 2:59:13 PM

  10. Ditto what Alex Parrish wrote. I'll add only that freedom of speech also means that people can exercise their own freedom of speech to criticize someone else's speech, explain why it is offensive, reveal the ignorance, dishonesty and malice behind the speech, and attempt to persuade others to distance themselves from that someone else because of their speech, whatever the consequences may be.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | May 21, 2014 3:00:32 PM

  11. @ alex parrish

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    It seems that this is new tactic of the fringe right wingers. The whole "free speech" movement and using it as a defense for foul comments is the new "won't someone think of the children". There's no violation of free speech when you ask for someone to explain their bigotry either, though they can't.

    With the use of the first amendment, they are most likely trying to peg us as un-American, but nothing is more constitutionally un-American than having different classes of citizens and choosing which to deny equality to.

    The use of the jargon "free speech" only tells us which groups these hosts have been frequenting, as it is used by fringe right wingers who would love to paint us as un-American. The right wingers would also love nothing more than for another radio host or two, as in this case, to join their cause.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | May 21, 2014 3:01:17 PM

  12. I'm actually starting to like this Kimberly. You trans bullies all up in arms are actually starting to make some of gays hate you. Just because you shout louder & talk more, doesn't mean you're right.

    Posted by: Sean | May 21, 2014 3:05:22 PM

  13. I'm actually starting to like this Kimberly. You trans bullies all up in arms are actually starting to make some of gays hate you. Just because you shout louder & talk more, doesn't mean you're right.

    Posted by: Sean | May 21, 2014 3:05:22 PM

  14. Alex (first comment) said it perfectly. As for Sean (comment above this), dude, straight people said the same thing about you not that long ago. You're pretty sad.

    Posted by: reader | May 21, 2014 3:12:32 PM

  15. Sean, the next time someone calls you a f_ ggot or makes fun of you for being gay, don't you dare call them out for it. By your logic, doing so would be bullying.

    Or is it only considered bullying when the people fighting back are people you think are icky/the rights people are standing up for aren't legitimate in your eyes?

    Since you obviously loathe the presence of Trans people, you seem slightly biased about the definition of "bullying."

    Posted by: Tyler | May 21, 2014 3:12:47 PM

  16. @Sean - Your comment is confusing.

    Kimberly is indeed a trans bully and indeed people who believe in equality and dignity for all people find her comments repugnant.

    I, do indeed hate intolerance, like so many other LGBT who have experienced it.

    Is this what you're trying to say?

    Posted by: Cran | May 21, 2014 3:16:46 PM

  17. It's funny how these ignorant individuals cling to the First Amendment as their excuse to belittle others. Miss Kimberly should go out and do some shots so she can put her three remaining brain cells out of their misery.

    Posted by: Jack M | May 21, 2014 3:16:55 PM

  18. I'm not sure this "free speech" argument is really new. They've been using it forever. Just like how if they cloak their ignorance in religious language, they scream freedom of religion when you condemn them for it.

    Posted by: Tony | May 21, 2014 3:18:05 PM

  19. Two separate issues here. Sounds like the radio segment in question was awful, and should be called out, and rebutted. AND just looking at the tweet as a stand-alone statement, I agree with it completely. Let's not forget that for most of the history of the LGBT movement, LGBT visibility and advocacy has often been characterized or considered offensive speech ipso facto. And still is, in much of the world, and many parts of our own country. We abandon the principle of free speech at our peril.

    Posted by: Hank | May 21, 2014 3:22:01 PM

  20. It is worth repeating until it sinks in to the public consciousness. Freedom of speech -- like the various other freedoms enumerated -- are to guarantee that the citizens are not imposed upon by the government. So, the freedom is speech guarantees that the government will not bar the citizen from exercising his or her right to speak his or her mind (assuming, incorrectly, binary genders). So, when a bakery hollers "Freedom of religion" -- uh, no. And when a radio host hollers "Freedom of speech" -- uh, no.

    Posted by: Ken | May 21, 2014 3:25:21 PM

  21. No Tyler. When i hear someone saying something about gays on tv or radio or online i don't agree with, i'll either leave a comment or ignore it. I won't be calling their bosses demanding they're fired.I won't be on twitter getting everyone to spam them. I believe that they have the right to disagree with my viewpoint,as i have the right to switch them off & ignore them.Stop this whole loathing of trans people bull (Disagree & you're against us)What i'm against is strong-arm tactics from ANYONE.

    Posted by: Sean | May 21, 2014 3:27:56 PM

  22. Hank's comment is spot-on. Yes, technically, it's not a violation of free speech to fire someone because of something they say. Perfectly legal. But doesn't that mean it's also legal to fire someone for voicing support for transgendered people, or gay marriage, or anything else? Let's not get caught up in the thinking that just because something is legal, it's also ethical.

    This host sounds like an awful person, but her tweet is correct enough. I'm not going to lament if she's fired, but it does set an uncomfortable precedent.

    Posted by: Zell | May 21, 2014 3:31:08 PM

  23. What these idiots like to forget is that freedom of speech also includes responding to speech you do not like, in ways that include public criticism and boycotts.

    Posted by: Gregory in Seattle | May 21, 2014 3:42:51 PM

  24. We're so sensitive about issues like this because the tone and content of their segment is exactly the way LGBTI people were covered by the media in the past.
    Her response about free speech is correct, though you have to wonder what would have happened if they had talked about Christianity,Judaism or race in such a manner.
    Pretty sure that that terse comment wouldn't have cut it.
    Its always freedom of speech to you until something you care about gets denigrated.
    How is it that their freedom of speech is more important than ours? Last I checked there is no Christian country that is a Theocracy. The sort of order those states propose harm all groups who have differing views. Its easy to live in a (relatively) free society and complain about your rights under your constitution while you conveniently forget all the duties the come with those rights

    Posted by: AuthlimofXvim | May 21, 2014 4:08:57 PM

  25. I hate to say it...but we're giving attention to a radio host in freakin Rochester that probably makes about $35,000 a year and is lucky to make a few extra bucks as the announcer at the local Chili Cook Off.

    She's living in her own hell. I wouldn't expect any more from her except for those type of low life, white trash comments. She is what she is.

    Posted by: Me | May 21, 2014 4:21:57 PM

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