A local radio host is taking aim at Caitlyn Jenner’s transition on a new billboard ad – in a town where a trans woman was nearly beaten to death last year.
Denny Schaffer, whose show airs on Star 105.5 in Toledo, Ohio, is pictured on the billboard imitating the Olympian’s Vanity Fair cover, on which she unveiled her new identity.
The caption reads: “Transition to Star 105.5 and don’t call me Caitlyn.”
However some of the local trans community have slammed the station, given just last November a trans woman was attacked in broad daylight and nearly beaten to death in the town.
Candice Milligan, 33, was punched, kicked, and robbed of her mobile phone in downtown Toledo, by three male perpetrators who screamed derogatory abuse.
She was rushed to hospital in critical condition – and underwent surgery to drain blood, after she was found to have a haematoma.
One commenter wrote to the station: “You guys do realize that just last year a trans woman in Toledo was nearly beaten to death right?
“You do know that ‘jokes’ like this only promote that kind of violence. Are you guys aware that just this year 11 trans women have been murdered for existing?
“Just know that the next time a trans person in Toledo is beaten or killed, you get to share some of that blame for promoting hatred like this. That’s on you. I hope you can carry that weight.”
Another local added: “You’ve become this washed up that you have to resort to transphobia to try to get listeners? Sucks when you haven’t been relevant since like 2001.”
Rather than apologise for the incident, the station is seeking to turn the controversy into a further publicity opportunity.
It held a phone-in about the billboard, asking: “The question is simple, should the billboard come down? Give us a call on 419-240-1055”.