I’m sorry about the title, there is no logic. Quarantine has worn away the social skills of the haters and they appear to be more prevalent. I’m just choosing to believe those skills will return with the ability to freely infect the world with the virus of your choice.
In Pennsylvania, we have a Secretary of Health. Every state has someone in a similar position. Our Secretary of Health is a Harvard graduate, who went to Tulane for med school and interned at Mt. Sinai in New York. Not every state has such a qualified doctor.
Dr. Rachel Levine’s primary specialty is pediatric psychology, which seems to trouble some people. Now that they can pronounce the word, they want an epidemiologist in her position. No other state has one, being a doctor is not even a requirement everywhere.
Dr. Levine is fighting two wars. The pandemic and transphobia. Rachel was born with male genitalia.
I really can’t follow why a reporter, sent to gather news, would choose to insult the speaker, but Rachel is pointedly mis-gendered routinely. When the story is less important than the gender of the speaker the path of information has been blocked. Recently, an ultra conservative group calling themselves “Broad + Liberty,” published an “editorial” titled “Dr. Rachel Levine should resign as PA Health Secretary.” Dr. Levine’s gender is not mentioned, just praise and then a fault which they blamed on the administration.
A discussion of this really brought out the transphobia of my compatriots. And here is where the word “logic” came to play. A number of people displayed their transphobia, but what I found most upsetting was the number of Jewish people who were straightforward about their hatred. It occurs to me that the experience of seeing your family face extermination might soften the prejudice, but no. I’ve known my share of misguided Christians, but this absolutely shocked me. During the second world war, while the NAZI regime was exterminating non-Aryans, they did not stop with Jews. “Sexual deviants” were identified with a pink triangle and sent to the same death camps as the Jews. The triangle has been “reclaimed” by the LGBTQ community and can be seen in use today.
Here’s how it works. Dr. Rachel Levine is a woman. You might not find her attractive, but then again how many people do you find attractive? You might argue that she hasn’t always been a woman, and I would argue the opposite; she was always a woman, it’s just that she used to look like a man. When you turn the conversation to her gender, you miss out on the information about the health department. In the middle of a pandemic. Not wise.
Following the consensus at the time, Dr. Levine recommended that nursing homes accept patients who test positive. The alternative was making them homeless. She then, in full view, placed her mother in a hotel for isolation. Now it is being said she murdered all the people who died in nursing homes, comparing isolating her mother as insider trading. At no time did she say “Don’t isolate your loved ones” or “The nursing homes don’t need to isolate the positive patients.” On the other hand Trump didn’t say “drink straight bleach” yet he, and not the people who drank bleach, are being blamed.
It is tough being told what to do, it might make some feel as if they are children. They are. Slowing the progression of the virus is a job for adults. The frustration of being sent to their rooms has caused a number of folks to become increasingly irritable. Sorry folks, we’re all going through the same thing, the difference is “we’re” doing it gracefully. We expect to survive this pandemic, and expect our new world to be at least partially cleansed of the stupidity of those who wish to spread the virus. If the pandemic follows through, there will be permanent changes to our society. By being in the spotlight, I hope Rachel has opened the possibility of Trans acceptance.
Trans people face deadly hate routinely, with about thirty trans folks killed each year, just because they are trans. The vitriol I have heard from otherwise polite people concerning Rachel scares me, and I’m not even trans. That these prejudices against people who are outside the understanding of a population which was insulated against sexual education exist should not be a surprise. That they have not softened with exposure to the real world is. Ignoring a public health official because she used look like the opposite sex touches on the suicidal. People who are more interested in what is under the clothes of the secretary of health than what the secretary has to say have abandoned common sense.
As a species, we don’t have time for hate.