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Siriusly EmpTy

Recently, I saw a tweet by Diana Cage on twitter. I’d heard Cage on her nightly show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s “Diana Cage Show”, and I decided to subscribe and listen in on her show. I came in during Derek and Romaine‘s “Desperately Fucking Angry” segment where people call in and complain about things that piss them off.

“Trans Trucker” called in the following audio:
[display_podcast] And “Trans Trucker” isn’t alone. Last December, Becky Juro referred to Sirius XM’s Michelangelo Signorile Show as “softball-pitching, gay-male-focused, transgender-caller-quota-enforcing.” And that isn’t really a stretch to say that. Sirius OutQ launched in April 14th, 2004 and since that time has NEVER had a paid on air staff that is transgender.

And don’t look for that to change too soon, either. The one host, Diana Cage, that has a grasp on (and regularly talked about) transgender issues, was let go back back in January of this year. Even as lesbians go, the channel is getting pretty thin.

The irony of it all? While there’s little to no transgender representation on the channel itself, the person that founded Sirius is transgender! According to Wikipedia:

Martine Rothblatt is responsible for launching several communications satellite companies, including the first nationwide vehicle location system (Geostar, 1983), the first private international spacecom project (PanAmSat, 1984), the first global satellite radio network (WorldSpace, 1990), and the first non-geostationary satellite-to-car broadcasting system (Sirius Satellite Radio, 1990).

As an attorney-entrepreneur, Rothblatt was also responsible for leading the efforts to obtain worldwide approval, via new international treaties, of satellite orbit/spectrum allocations for space-based navigation services (1987) and for direct-to-person satellite radio transmissions (1992). She also lead the International Bar Association’s biopolitical project to develop a draft Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights for the United Nations (whose final version was adopted by the UNESCO on 11 November 1997, and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1998).

In the late 1990s, motivated by her daughter being diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary hypertension, Rothblatt entered the world of the life sciences first by creating the PPH Cure Foundation and later by founding a medical biotechnology company (United Therapeutics, 1996). At that time she also began studying for a Ph.D. in medical ethics at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. The degree was granted in June 2001 based upon her dissertation on the conflict between private and public interests in xenotransplantation. This thesis, defended before England’s leading bio-ethicist John Harris, was later published by Ashgate House under the title Your Life or Mine.

I think I’m going to do what Rothblatt did, and divest myself of Sirius. T and B have left the building, thank you, and good night!

Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.