Pennsylvania has been a trailblazer when it comes to Transgender accomplishments. After all, the state’s health Secretary , Dr. Rachel Levine is a transgender woman and has been leading the state’s coronavirus response. It is upsetting that a charity event for firefighters in Bloomsburg had a man in a dunk tank, wearing a dress, blonde wig and glasses – resembling Dr. Levine. Even with all the meaningful work Dr. Levine is doing during this stressful time, there are people who are judging and hating her for being a transgender.
I don’t expect the people of Bloomsburg Pennsylvania to start accepting the transgender community with open arms today. This is still a very new concept for many people in the world and it can be a very uncomfortable idea to grapple with. However, the leadership in Bloomsburg should be making an effort to educate their community. Did you know that 50% of transgender teens attempt suicide? Imagine if someone at the fair saw the transphobic dunk tank? This is not the environment we want to be creating in our communities.
At a news conference, the Bloomsburg Fair Association President apologized for the actions and meant no harm. Dr. Levine’s is still remaining focused on fighting this pandemic. Dr. Levine’s Spokesperson said:
Week after week, members of the LGBTQ community and thousands of Pennsylvanians have tuned in to be informed by our Health Secretary only to be assaulted by streams of comments and slurs aimed directly at Dr. Levine and indirectly at all transgender Pennsylvanians,” the statement said. “Whether a member of the media is misgendering her or social media comments are lobbed her way, we admire how Dr. Levine has shown poise and the highest degree of professionalism.
Even with the bigotry targeted against the LGBTQ community, Dr. Levine is still doing her job and her best as the Pennsylvania’s State Health Secretary.
What we want to demonstrate at LGBTQ Healthcare is that it is even more important to be successful visible members of society as transgender folk as well as LGBTQ folk. We want to paint Dr. Levine as an example of someone who perseveres and succeeds in the face of bigotry. Even though her likeness was used in a disgusting and negative way, she is still focused on bigger things, like fighting COVID.
At LGBTQ Healthcare, we are building a directory to help the LGBTQ community find fast, affirming LGBTQ healthcare professionals. It is important to use us as a resource so we can bring healthcare providers to you through our website so at the very least you can be treated equally when accessing healthcare.