Statement: Brown County Democrats Call on Spring Candidates to Speak Out Against Transphobia

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
For immediate release

Green Bay — On International Trans Day of Visibility, the Democratic Party of Brown County reaffirms the inherent right of people of all genders to live with dignity and be treated with respect. The party calls on candidates in the April 6th Spring Election to show their support for the trans community and speak out against transphobic remarks made by a local conservative radio host about Rachel Maes for Circuit Court Judge, a candidate on the Spring ballot.

“Now is the time for candidates to demonstrate their leadership,” said Renée Gasch, Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County. “We hope everyone in these nonpartisan races will join with the community in speaking out against bullying, violence, and discrimination against trans residents.”

This week, WTAQ host Joe Giganti of the Regular Joe Show launched a transphobic attack on Maes, a well-respected and highly qualified city attorney running against Judge Kendall Kelley. Maes’ grassroots campaign is the first time voters have had a choice in the race in close to 20 years.

But WTAQ’s Giganti chose not to focus on Maes’ resume or the community support she has garnered. Instead, he disparaged her gender identity. Among the insults, Giganti asked if listeners “really want to put somebody in that chair, and into those robes, that can’t figure out whether they are a male or a female” and then compared someone experiencing gender dysphoria to someone suddenly deciding they are King of England or a tree.

“The Regular Joe Show has a history of stirring up hatred and conspiracies in Brown County,” said Gasch. “The candidates and businesses sponsoring WTAQ should pull their advertising dollars immediately. Our community deserves better.”

Two Spring candidates, Angela Hoisington for De Pere Unified School Board and Rhonda Sitnikau for Green Bay School Board, are among the sponsors for the show. Others include Pella Windows and Doors, U.S. Cellular, and Community First Credit Union.

International Trans Day of Visibility designates March 31st as a day to recognize the contributions of the trans community and raise awareness about discrimination. The day comes as conservative attacks on trans people have escalated in recent weeks. Republicans have backed more bills targeting trans children, including one in Wisconsin that outlaws trans girls from playing on girls’ sports teams.


Contact: Renee Gasch,, 920-405-0455


Post a Message of Support

Today is #TransDayofVisibility, a day to recognize the contributions of the trans community and speak out against discrimination. I’m proud to vote for @Rachel Maes for Circuit Court Judge in the Spring Election. She is a highly qualified and well-respected city attorney running to bring a fresh perspective to the local Circuit Court. When she is elected on April 6th, she will be the first trans judge to serve Brown County. Learn more about her campaign here:

File a Complaint with WTAQ

Station Manager: 

File a Complaint with the FCC

Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275

Mail (please include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
45 L Street NE
Washington, DC 20554


We all deserve to live in a community where we are treated with dignity—no matter our LGBTQ+ status, the color of our skin, or where our parents were born. We pledge to stand against hate in all its forms.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our community call to action to stand up for the trans community and defend a nonpartisan candidate, Rachel Maes for Circuit Court Judge, against recent hateful attacks by a local conservative radio host. And we thank Rhonda Sitnikau for Green Bay School Board for pulling her ads from the show. Unfortunately Angela Hoisington for De Pere School Board did not respond to our call to action, and Susan Netzel for De Pere recently joined the list of WTAQ sponsors.

It takes all of us to stand up to bullies and demand accountability. Thank you to those that demonstrated their leadership and stood in solidarity with the trans community.