Fri. Apr 19th, 2024
alert-–-biden’s-trans-health-secretary-rachel-levine-mocks-the-‘manufactured’ -outrage-at-the-white-house-for-proclaiming-transgender-day-of-visibility-on-the-same-day-as-easterAlert – Biden’s trans health secretary Rachel Levine mocks the ‘manufactured’  outrage at the White House for proclaiming Transgender Day of Visibility on the same day as Easter

Joe Biden’s highest-ranking transgender official Admiral Rachel Levine has criticized the ‘faux outrage’ sparked by the White House proclamation marking Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday.

Assistant secretary for health Adm. Levine insists the fury was ‘manufactured’ as the dates happened to coincide and the Biden administration did not try to overshadow the Christian holiday.

‘I felt that it was faux outrage. It was manufactured,’ Levine told The Advocate . ‘It’s just that this Sunday was Easter, which is a very important holiday and very important event, and it also just happened to be the 31st,’ she added.

Levine, the first transgender official confirmed by the Senate, then used a quote from Star Wars’ Yoda to explain how LGBTQ+ issues have become so polarizing.

‘You know there’s a quote from Yoda (not baby Yoda, that’s new) – Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering,’ Levine said using the movie quote. 

Admiral Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender federal official, said any controversy over Transgender Day of Visibility coinciding with Easter was 'manufactured outrage'

Admiral Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender federal official, said any controversy over Transgender Day of Visibility coinciding with Easter was ‘manufactured outrage’

Levine said that the controversy arose from a misunderstanding of the fixed date of Transgender Day of Visibility and separate from religious holidays like Easter

Levine said that the controversy arose from a misunderstanding of the fixed date of Transgender Day of Visibility and separate from religious holidays like Easter

'You know there's a quote from Yoda (not baby Yoda, that's new) - Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering,' Levine said using a Yoda quote

‘You know there’s a quote from Yoda (not baby Yoda, that’s new) – Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering,’ Levine said using a Yoda quote

Levine said she believes that continued education and visibility is a task vital for progress in society. 

‘I think that things will get better. And I think that things for transgender and nonbinary people will improve,’ Leavine said with optimism. 

She says she believes attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community are shifting much like how perception towards the gay community has also changed over the years with far greater visibility and acceptance. 

Levine has been the subject of attacks, particularly from right-wing commentators such as Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik.

She says such criticisms, however cruel or vitriolic, only serve as a means of motivation: ‘The more I’m attacked, the more it motivates me to work harder and to advocate more.

‘I am able to compartmentalize any feelings I have and then work them out myself and with my friends and my family,’ Levine said.

The Biden administration has doubled down on honoring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter day, despite criticism from conservative politicians

The Biden administration has doubled down on honoring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter day, despite criticism from conservative politicians

House Speaker Mike Johnson responded Monday by highlighting the White House proclamation that President Joe Biden sent out Sunday where the president did 'hereby proclaim' March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility

House Speaker Mike Johnson responded Monday by highlighting the White House proclamation that President Joe Biden sent out Sunday where the president did ‘hereby proclaim’ March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility 

Levine expressed how she was keen to encourage members of the transgender community who might feel apprehensive about being more visible.

‘I see them, I hear them, and I support them,’ she said referring to their fears associated with such public exposure.

‘You might question many things in your life,’ Levine went on. ‘You might question your family, you might question your school, might question your job, you might question many different things, but you don’t question your gender. It’s a fixed star in your universe for most people. But there’s a group of people, of which I am proudly one, where that has not been the issue. I’ve always questioned my gender. It never felt right from my earliest memories. And so I think that that’s a common theme for most, if not for many transgender and nonbinary people.

There was plenty of criticism over the clash of the dates between Transgender Day of Visibility and Easter online

There was plenty of criticism over the clash of the dates between Transgender Day of Visibility and Easter online

‘This is not a social contagion phenomenon, and we’ve been around forever, hiding in the closet. So, the ability in our society now is not to be in the closet. We need to foster that and to nurture that,’ Levine added.

The backlash was driven by conservative politicians and pundits who suggested the Biden administration’s recognition of the day was an attempt to undermine or even overshadow Easter. 

Some suggested that having both on the same date and one of the holiest in the Christian calendar was a deliberate affront to religious communities. 

The controversy overlooked the simple coincidence of the calendar — Transgender Day of Visibility was established in 2009 and is observed on March 31 – a fixed date irrespective of when religious holidays occur which shift yearly based on the lunar calendar.

‘I am able to compartmentalize any feelings I have and then work them out myself and with my friends and my family,’ Levine said.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed nearly 40,000 guests to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden welcomed nearly 40,000 guests to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll

Biden blows the starting whistle as Jill Biden cheers on the kids at the Egg race

Biden blows the starting whistle as Jill Biden cheers on the kids at the Egg race

Biden told the press he  didn’t name Easter Sunday the Transgender Day of Visibility and slammed Speaker Michael Johnson as being ‘thoroughly uniformed’ for claiming that.

Biden sparked outrage from conservatives over the weekend with his proclamation recognizing the day to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people. 

Johnson, former President Donald Trump and many other conservatives slammed Biden, with the speaker calling the president’s move ‘outrageous.’

‘I didn’t do that,’ Biden said when asked if he named Easter the Transgender Day of Visibility.

March 31 has been designated as the day to honor the transgender movement internationally since 2009. This year March 31 also happened to be Easter Sunday. 

The president, asked to respond to Johnson’s criticism, said: ‘He’s thoroughly uninformed. 

 White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she was ‘so surprised by the misinformation that’s been out there around this’ and that the White House was ‘confused’ by the outcry. 

‘And I want to be very clear, every year for the past several years on March 31 Transgender Day of Visibility is marked. And, as we know, for folks who understand the calendar and how it works – Easter falls on different Sundays,’ Jean-Pierre said. 

‘And this year it happened to coincide with transgender visibility day. And so that’s a simple fact. That is what has happened. That is where we are,’ the press secretary continued.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pointed out that Transgender Day of Visibility has been marked on March 31 for a number of years, while Easter Sunday changes date every calendar year

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pointed out that Transgender Day of Visibility has been marked on March 31 for a number of years, while Easter Sunday changes date every calendar year 

Jean-Pierre called the conservative outrage ‘a lot of misinformation done on purpose.’ 

‘And as a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American,’ she said. ‘Now sadly, and it’s not surprising, right? It’s actually unsurprising that politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful and dishonest rhetoric.’ 

‘It is dishonest what we heard the past 24 hours, it is untrue what we heard over the weekend,’ Jean-Pierre said. 

The White House doubled down on its backing of Biden’s statement. 

‘President Biden is right. He did nothing in conflict with the ‘tenets’ of Easter, which he celebrated yesterday,’ spokesman Andrew Bates told DailyMail.com. 

‘Nor did he choose the date of March 31 for Transgender Day of Visibility, which has been set since 2009 – including in 2020 and 2021 when FOX itself commemorated Transgender Day of Visibility itself.’ 

The Transgender Day of Visibility was created by Rachel Crandall-Crocker, the executive director of advocacy group Transgender Michigan.

The holiday is ‘a day to celebrate the lives and contributions of trans people, while also drawing attention to the poverty, discrimination, and violence the community faces,’ according to media monitoring nonprofit GLAAD.

Biden released a statement on Saturday to mark the occasion: ‘On Transgender Day of Visibility, we honor the extraordinary courage and contributions of transgender Americans and reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to forming a more perfect Union — where all people are created equal and treated equally throughout their lives,’ it read.

‘Today, we send a message to all transgender Americans: You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You belong. You are America, and my entire Administration and I have your back.’

Biden was the first American president to issue a formal proclamation recognizing the event in 2021.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are accompanied by first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff as they wave at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are accompanied by first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff as they wave at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn 

The theme of this year's Easter Egg Roll was 'Egg-ucation'

The theme of this year’s Easter Egg Roll was ‘Egg-ucation’

Conservatives were outraged, led by Trump, Biden’s rival in the 2024 presidential race.

Trump’s national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt lambasted the proclamation as ‘appalling and insulting.’

She claimed the announcement was evidence of the Biden administration’s ‘years-long assault on the Christian faith.’

And House Speaker Mike Johnson called the proclamation ‘abhorrent.’

‘The Biden White House has betrayed the central tenet of Easter – which is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Banning sacred truth and tradition – while at the same time proclaiming Easter Sunday as ‘Transgender Day’ – is outrageous and abhorrent,’ he said.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates slammed back, saying: ‘As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American.’

‘Sadly, it’s unsurprising politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful and dishonest rhetoric. President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit.’