Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Hallie Jackson Reports” that misgendering a transgender person was “mean-spirited” and denigrating “trans youth.”
Jackson said, “You talk about being very vocal on the advocacy front. You told Chelsea Clinton on a podcast that was out. I think this week that you hope that one day your identity isn’t going to define you or any other trans person, and yet we’re in this moment where some on the right continue to publicly misgender you. On a personal level, how do you navigate that?”
Levine said, “Well, you know, I am absolutely able to navigate that. I’ve been doing this a while. But what I worry is how those mean-spirited comments affect other transgender individuals who are more vulnerable than I am, particularly trans youth who we need to support and to empower in their lives, not to denigrate. So I’m fine, but we have to support others that are more vulnerable.”
Jackson asked, “So then what is your message to, say, trans kids in this country who might live in a state that is looking at anti-trans legislation, legislation that would limit the rights of trans youth but are seeing what the Biden administration is trying to do here?”
Levine said, “Well, those anti-trans, those transphobic actions that states have taken are quite politically motivated. And I’ve said before. They are egregious. We need to support and empower trans youth. So my word to them is that we have a president who sees us and supports us as we are. It is so important for people to be authentic and to live free in the United States, to live in our nation as who they are and, of course, who they love. And we’re going to continue to do everything we can to support them.”
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