Radio host rant: transgender student at his daughter’s school


paul campion transgender student
Paul Campion. Image: River 94.9FM Facebook

A Queensland radio host made an apology — of sorts — this week after ranting on-air about a transgender student at his daughter’s school. Paul Campion from Ipswich station River 94.9FM’s Marnie & Campo complained about Department of Education policies on trans students and referred to a particular child’s genitals.

The radio host made the comments during a discussion on a probable media beat-up about a Victorian student identifying as an animal. No doubt, such stories provide great fodder for outraged radio listeners. But the Victorian story relied on comments from an unidentified ‘source close to the family’.

A similar Brisbane story earlier this year was based on dinner party gossip and denied by the school concerned. Also this year, a Michigan school denied claims that it provided litter boxes for students who identified as furries.

Furries, of course, do not actually ‘identify’ as animals. They roleplay anthropomorphic animal characters — fursonas. Those who can afford them wear often beautiful and elaborate fursuits.

There is no correlation between a fursona and how trans people identify.

Paul Campion

During the segment, Campion said he disagreed with allowing transgender students to use any bathroom they wanted. He said he feared for his daughter’s safety because a transgender student at her school could share bathrooms with her. He also referred to the 13-year-old student’s genitalia.

Parents of Transgender Kids

The segment attracted complaints on social media. Michelle Inns, founder of the Parents of Transgender Kids Facebook group said the comments disgusted her community members.

“The discussion of a minor‘s genitalia on public radio is also extremely inappropriate.

“It is bitterly disappointing after all of the recent community backlash against transgender discrimination in our schools and political system that the radio station has allowed this kind of behaviour.

“People seem to assume that shared bathroom use is putting their children at risk.

“Our kids are already struggling with their bodies and are incredibly self-conscious. It’s more likely they will be seeking privacy and trying to avoid conflict.”

On Friday, Campion told listeners he did not intend to cause offence.

Trying to manoeuvre a changing world

“My comments were not meant to hurt anyone, they are simply a father trying to manoeuvre a changing world with his 14-year-old daughter, who is also having to understand things she knows nothing about.”

“If you see my protection and feelings about my daughter as transphobic, there is not much I can do about that.”

River 94.9FM station general manager David Wiltshire said while the broadcast did not breach the commercial radio code of practice, station staff consequently received education and training around transgender issues.

He expressed disappointment that the host did not follow station guidelines.

“We agree that the discussion around transgender girls sharing changing facilities with cisgender girls should never have taken place on our broadcast.”

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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2 Comments

  1. Anton Cavalli
    29 August 2022
    Reply

    “Understanding things she knows nothing about” isn’t that called learning? I try to do this daily. I’m pretty sure his 14 year old daughter is quite aware of what genitalia is and how it all works when urinating. For crying out loud when are people going to realise the unnecessary attention given to these matters.

  2. Paul
    31 August 2022
    Reply

    And that is why ladies and gentlemen why I never would in a million years want to visit Queensland ever.

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