Station urged to can 'trans for a day' stunt

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 7th June 2015

Agender is urging radio station The Edge not to go ahead with a “tacky” plan to make host Dom Harvey a “woman for a day

Harvey is the same host who walked in the Auckland Pride Parade in underwear as a “Queen for a Day” when he lost a bet.

Last year The Edge married two ‘straight mates’ so they could win tickets to the Rugby World Cup, in a ceremony full of gay jokes.

In 2012 the breakfast show hosts read out a comment that a joke was “so gay I just got AIDS”, while in 2010 the show featured a song about bisexual broadcaster Ali Mau which included the lines she “wanted to go rug munching” and she “got sick of dicks”. 

Now Agender President Lynda Whitehead has received an email from the Brand Manager of the station outlining a plan for Harvey to become a ‘woman for a day’ on Monday.

“To achieve what they believe is a fair representation of a trans person, the host would wear a prosthetic female face and present in women’s attire publicly,” Whitehead says.

“It was hoped that by doing so, the radio host, Dom, would get the ‘feel’ of being trans for a few hours.”

Whitehead believes the station wants to cash in in the publicity around Caitlyn Jenner in a sensational way.

“Their reason for contacting Agender was to offer their support for our organisation in conjunction with the event, this of course, was merely window dressing to legitimise their plans by gaining the support of Agender.”

Whitehead wrote back asking for more information about the research they had done and making a few points.

“Many trans people right now are struggling badly, they can’t get work, housing and even finding a health professional that knows anything about their struggle is difficult,” she wrote.

“It’s not about throwing on clothes of your desired gender, it’s not about the stares either, as some trans ‘pass’ very effectively.

“It’s about losing friends and family, being ‘asked’ to leave your job, being told you aren’t suitable for a flat or house, being unable to get health support - and if that isn’t enough they endure ridicule, harassment and violence.

“Young trans people have it just as hard with bullying and being ostracized at school and also by their peers socially.”

Whitehead stated she was not sure Agender wanted to be associated with “an enactment of what, for us, is a life and death issue.”

She says she wrote politely and sincerely, “in response to an ‘offer’ that was tacky & down right insulting to myself and all trans, the potential for which could be very damaging to the image of trans people generally.”

Whitehead has not received a reply.

“Judging on The Edge’s track record in the past their lack of empathy, humility, understanding and humanity is astounding. I would urge all caring folks regardless of where you are on the gay/trans spectrum to get your fingers typing and send these guys a blast.”