Nashville disc jockey accused of transphobic comments
A transgender woman who attended this month's All-White Affair in Nashville has accused a local disc jockey of making transphobic comments in front of the assembled crowd.
According to singer and performer Forresta Bee, 101.1 The Beat Jamz DJ Dolewite of the weeknight radio show Dolewite & Scooby requested her removal from the makeshift dance floor at the LP Field event June 4.
"Dolewite invited everyone on stage to dance (after the fashion show)," she says. "Everybody was taking pictures and doing videos. The next thing you know, he was saying 'If you don't get your Amazon, Shaquille O' Neal-looking ass off the stage, you better now.' Then some heavyset guy was tugging my arm and telling me to get off the stage. I was thinking, 'Why are you grabbing me and getting me off the stage?'"
The third annual All-White Affair ("Nashville's largest urban event," according to a press release) drew a record 3800 guests this year. According to Forresta Bee, many of those attendees were displeased about the derogatory remarks.
"Everybody was shocked and started booing him (when it happened)," she says. "But I felt threatened. It was embarrassing and it was scary."
Forresta Bee spread the word about the incident through social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and secured an attorney to determine her options.
Attempts to reach a resolution with Clear Channel, owner of 101.1 The Beat Jamz, have so far been unsuccessful. Rich Davis, operating manager of Clear Channel/Nashville, has resisted making a public apology on behalf of the company.
"I wanted them to make a public service announcement or put forth the effort to make an apology," Forresta Bee says. "He said, 'No, we're not gonna do that.' He didn't even know about it at first. (My contact with him) was his first time hearing about the situation."
Forresta Bee received personal communication from Dolewite's fellow DJs Scooby and Pamela Aniese after they read her messages online. These conversations were ultimately frustrating and failed to satisfy her desire to seek justice.
"They keep talking about how we can make this go away," Forresta Bee says. "It's like they want to brush it under the mat."
She adds: "I'm doing this because I feel like I'm a voice. I want it to be a big deal and help people. I don't judge people. This was disrespectful or rude."
Forresta Bee formed a protest last week to draw attention to Dolewite's poor treatment and feels that the DJ should consider his platform as a well-known radio personality. Her belief is that role models in society have a special responsibility to inform and influence young people in terms of LGBT rights.
"I don't feel I should be secluded and told I can only go to certain places," Forresta Bee says. "You shouldn't be judged. When you say stuff like that, kids are listening to that and you're teaching them it's OK to think that."