Last week I started a petition requesting that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (or anyone, really) stop making transphobic jokes on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. You can read all about it here and here.
Today, with the help of my friends (Thank you for being a friend, Ryan!) and despite my inferior spelling skills (No Thank you for being a fiend, Autocorrect!), we flew past our initial goal of 100 signatures.
Onward and upward. Tomorrow’s goal is the front page of change.org, so I’m thinking 50,000-100,000 signatures would be fine. Seriously though, 100K signatures would be awesome but it will probably take more than a day or two, so let’s say 1000 is next. In the meantime, please continue to share the petition far and wide. I will continue to work on making sure that your voices reach the decision makers. Also, I have no idea what I am doing. If you’ve run a successful petition or similar project and have some protips, I will listen.
Jon, Stephen, Sumner, I know you read my blog so please allow me to share just a few of the many excellent, relevant, perspective-inducing, comments on the petition:
I’m a veteran, a liberal, and a transsexual woman. It bothers me that Mr Stewart and Mr. Colbert are so willing to respect me for my term of military service while simultaneously thoughtless enough to disrespect me and other trans people on a regular basis. I don’t believe they do this out of malice, but I think this kind of humor is beneath them and inconsistent with their politics.
Jokes made at the expense of marginalized and vulnerable people, and which reinforce pernicious myths about them, are cheap, easy jokes. The proper targets of satire–as you should know, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert–are the complacent, comfortable and powerful, not the vulnerable and disenfranchised. Please don’t resort to lazy humour which devalues and endangers the lives of those who are its targets.
Several people I love and hold in greatest esteem have been physically and emotionally assaulted because of their gender orientation. I strongly believe that everyone has the responsibility to end transphobia.
These are such intelligent guys that are doing a whole lot of good- I’m sure they only need to be aware of this to change it for the better. I respect them immensely and doubt they’re being intentionally hateful, but this is important to be aware of.
“Satire” should punch up, not further hurt and marginalized people who are already treated as less-than-human by much of society. Telling transphobic jokes is not progressive, it’s not cool, it’s not funny.
I’m a transwoman. I watch your shows. I like your shows. But these things make me feel bad about being who i am. And i just want you to realize that what you are saying isn’t funny, just hurtful.
I’m a trans woman and frequent Colbert Report and Daily Show viewer. I love the commentary and humor but hate never knowing if I’m going to be dehumanized for a cheap laugh.
I’m a transgender person who regularly views both shows, although I honestly watch Colbert less now because of his frequent use of transphobic humor. I’d like to see more of Stewart’s segments mocking transphobic bigots, rather than more segments where we’re the punchline for a cheap joke. Remember, there’s a lot of scared, closeted trans teenagers watching your shows, and those little jokes can do more damage than someone who hasn’t gone through it can possibly imagine.
Good comedy punches up. Bullies punch down.
Yo guys if you could help spread this around and sign it, it’s kind of a big deal. These guys are sort of held as the epitome of what being a good “progressive” is in this country, and if they can get away with throwing tr*nny out as often as they do, then they’re setting an example that says casual transphobia is not just A-OK, but cute and funny.