As Daily Kos covered at the time, Rachel Levine, an openly trans woman, made history when she became the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services assistant secretary earlier this year. Levine has a long, impressive work history, including serving as the Pennsylvania health secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic. She recently became the first female four-star officer with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps when she was sworn in as an admiral. And of course, Republicans couldn’t handle it.
One example? Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana unleased a nasty, transphobic tweet saying the “title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.” This is transphobic because Levine is a woman regardless of how she was assigned at birth. It also matches the recent Republican obsession that trans folks are “taking” things from cis girls and women (like sports scholarships). In a pleasant turn of events, Twitter has locked Banks’ account over the tweet, as reported by The Washington Post.
Banks followed up on his initial hateful tweet to make his transphobia crystal clear: “Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first ‘female’ four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day,” he wrote in the second tweet. Again, being assigned male at birth does not mean someone is a man. People come out at various times for various reasons, and none of us are owed an explanation about why or how that decision happens, especially when we consider the grave violence, discrimination, and danger folks may face when sharing their identities.
A spokesperson for Twitter gave The Hill a statement on its decision to suspend Banks’ account, saying it’s been “temporarily locked” over a violation of its Hateful Conduct Policy. According to the statement, Banks has to delete the tweet in order to get his account back. In this case, hateful conduct refers to intentional misgendering.
Surprising absolutely no one, Banks took to his personal Twitter account to double down on his transphobia. Banks (incorrectly) described his tweet as a “statement of fact” and twisted the situation to claim that Big Tech was canceling him.
“If they silence me,” he added. “They will silence you.” He then went on to claim that the midterms are a great opportunity to hold Big Tech accountable, which is slightly amusing because many progressives are also eager to hold Big Tech accountable—just not in an effort to make transphobia okay.
As a palate cleanser, feel free to watch footage from Levine’s swearing-in ceremony.
“May this appointment today be the first of many more to come,” Levine said. “Diversity makes us stronger.” She’s absolutely right.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.