Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary, responded to the transphobic attacks against her after a coronavir news outlet in Harrisburg on Tuesday.
“While these individuals may think they are just expressing their dissatisfaction with me, they are actually hurting the thousands of LGBTQ residents in Pennsylvania who have been directly affected by these current harassment demonstrations,” PennLive.com reported.
Among the anti-trans incidents were a man dressed as a Levine at a local fair for a tank, a color menu item mocking Levine at a tavern, and a radio host who called Levine several times during an interview.
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“Your actions conjure up a spirit of intolerance and discrimination against LGBTQs, especially transgender people,” Levine said of the events. Social media is also replete with transphobic remarks about the secretary.
According to WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Levine is one of the top transgender government officials in the country.
“We have not made progress unless we have all made progress,” she added. “It is in this space that these acts of intolerance live, and we must continue to fight them.”
Levine said he would agree to sincerely apologize, but added that this was just the beginning of the conversation.
She also thanked the Pennsylvania government, Tom Wolf, who appointed her, for his support and the progress she said was made by the LGBTQ community led by PennLive.
Levine, one of the main faces of Pennsylvania coronavirus reactions, faced criticism during the outbreak. A few months ago, she evicted a 95-year-old mother, saying others could return to the nursing home after recovering from the virus.
“My mother asked, and my sister and I, like her children, complied to relocate her during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Levine said in May.
More recently, according to Kitska-TV in Pittsburgh, state Republicans criticized her for not attending a court hearing against flounder restaurant owners asking for financial support.
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“Why not choose and answer our questions?” R-Coudersport, chairman of the Republican Political Committee of the State House, Martin Causer, a state representative, asked about the station. “Why can’t you sit in this House committee and talk about the governor’s order and answer members’ questions?”