KUSI TV refuses to have me on because i'm transgender


I am so upset. The reporter from the San Diego Reader, Ernie Grimm, contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I would do a television interview with him when the story came out on the cover of the reader [http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/mar/25/my-gender-bunny/] about my performance Becoming Dragon [http://secondloop.wordpress.com/].

I am so upset. The reporter from the San Diego Reader, Ernie Grimm, contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I would do a television interview with him when the story came out on the cover of the reader about my performance Becoming Dragon. I accepted and the reader’s publicist contacted me about TV interview dates. They scheduled an interview with me for this morning with an 8:50am arrival time for a 9:20am live air interview. I arrive on time, conservatively dressed with a long skirt, tights and a scarf up to my neck. We chat cordially in the break room first and then move to the green room. The publicist goes to talk to the anchor, and returns at 9:18AM to say “Micha I have some uncomfortable news. I’m so sorry, but because of how you’re dressed, they can’t have you on the show.” She goes on to tell me how they want to cover the Second Life aspect of the story and not talk about transgender issues at all.

This is absolutely an act of gender based discrimination. Imagine if they had said “I’m sorry, but because you’re a woman, we can’t have you on. We just wanted to talk about Second Life.” It is also very similar to them saying something like “I’m sorry, but because of the ay your face looks, we can’t have you on. We don’t want to talk about the fact that you’re black, just about Second Life,” if I was a person of color.

Then the anchorwoman comes into the green room to personally apologize to me and says its not her, it’s her “incredibly right wing republican boss” who is to blame. I do not say anything in response and look away. I refuse to say that this is acceptable. Admittedly, I laughed at the news at first, nervous and not sure of what to say. As I walk out the door, angry and upset, I realize that I should have told them right then and there that this is an act of discrimination.

I am disgusted. You can contact KUSI to tell them what you think of their homophobic ways here, the show I was to be on is Good Morning San Diego:

Email information

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Good Morning San Diego

MAILING ADDRESS 4575 Viewridge Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123
SALES 858-505-5120
NEWSROOM 858-571-NEWS (571-6397)
NEWS TIPLINE 858-292-TIPS (292-8477)

They proceeded to do the interview with Ernie, trying to avoid the issue, but even he couldn’t avoid saying that the project was about my, in his words “transgendering process”, and they both referred to me as “he” and with male pronouns for the entire interview, completely invisiblizing me. I should have never agreed to do the interview. I was actually up until almost 4am because I was so nervous and excited about doing the interview. I re-read Gloria Anzaldua for inspiration and read up on other cultures with traditions of cross-species transitions such as hinduism and buddhism. At least that was time well spent.

Call their advertisers as well to express your disappointment


You may find that the station's "family values" are overridden by the almighty dollar. Just saying.


Kara Spengler

Given that your project was all about gender and transition it is hard to even comprehend how they thought they could seperate the two in the first place! The fact that you were willing to make that part of your transition so public I would think would be worth talking about in itself.

It's San Diego, NOT You

Brynn Craffey

Misha, I'm so sorry you were treated like this!! It is wrong on so many levels--personal, moral, and professional, among others.

It sounds like the news producers and reporters did absolutely no research on you or your art before you showed up--not surprising, perhaps, considering the decline in journalism in this country. But utterly sad, frustrating, insulting, and unprofessional.

Likewise, there is absolutely no excuse for the segment that aired (which I have not seen) in which you were consistently referred to by incorrect pronouns. The "AP Stylebook," the "Bible" of reference books for professional journalists, has for years offered accurate guidance on proper LGBTQ terminology, pronoun usage, etc. All the reporters would have had to do was spend a few minutes ahead of time perusing it.

But that would have entailed a desire and willingness on their parts to respect you and to get the story right. Unfortunately, San Diego mainstream media generally reflects the region's ignorant and often backward attitudes on LGBTQ issues. I get my news from the Web or MSNBC, so I don't personally know KUSI. For years, though, I've shunned the Reader, knowing its founder and publisher, Jim Holman, is a conservative Catholic with a long history of advocating for and financing homophobic and transphobic political issues.

Rather than let this incident get you down, you might want to take it as a sign that if you're making the media uncomfortable and frightened, you're on the right track as an artist.

Take care,

Security Alert: Throbbing, Bending Borders

D. Emily Hicks AKA La Marquesa

Micha, you are brave and fabulous and they, at KUSI, are soooooo closed-minded. So many in this city attempt to crush art, expression, literature and music. They hide behind the military presence, misusing their petty power. Imagine the desiring-machines that might have been released, like viruses, had you been allowed to "appear" on the airwaves (as opposed to talking about your cyber-avatar self in Second Life). What fantasies might the listeners have had, while listening to you? Who knew that being tastefully dressed could cause such a reaction? I see what happened to you at KUSI as continuing harassment of activists and those who are concerned with autonomy. Do we need publicize a time line to show that continuing harassment? Each time a border is crossed, they are there, militarizing the context, threatening, and closing down that border, be it a gender border or any other border. I am glad that you read Gloria Anzaldua for comfort, that you embrace your own ambiguity and that you honor Anzaldua's Chicana lesbian identity and her wisdom. You have la facultad, and you continue to inspire. Your biggest fan.