I’ve grown to expect very little from the people in charge of the United States in terms of actual decency, so I wasn’t particularly surprised when I heard that, according to The Washington Post, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former presidential candidate Ben Carson insulted transgender women by calling them “big, hairy men” during a meeting this Tuesday, visibly upsetting the office’s employees.
His comment came about as he expressed concern that “big, hairy men” will invade women’s homeless shelters, clearly an attack on transgender women, who are in fact women and not hairy men. Carson also complained that society can no longer tell the difference between men and women which is just blatantly untrue. These statements upset a number of people and even caused one woman to walk out in disgust.
Carson has also in the past referred to transgender people as abnormal. One HUD official said that Carson’s tone towards transgender people is “dismissive and joking ” and that it is “disrespectful of the people we are trying to serve.” However, one official who was not present in the aforementioned meeting said that the “big, hairy men” comment was not about transgender people but about men in general who attempt to infiltrate women’s spaces. Judging by his history of insults towards LGBT people, it’s safe to say that Carson was, in fact, referring to transgender women.
Gillian Branstetter, the spokeswoman for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that it’s “gravely insulting” to “restrict the rights of transgender people who are ordinarily the victims of… violence” and that it’s only a myth that transgender people pose any more threat than others. It definitely is insulting, considering the fact that transgender people are disproportionately affected by violence.
Members who attended the meeting said that his speech at the meeting could be described as a “stream of consciousness” that went on for an hour. Three members also said that Carson prefaced his remarks about transgender people by saying that he believes in fairness and that trans people shouldn’t be given special rights, completely misunderstanding that allowing transgender people to use facilities that match their gender is an example of equal rights, not special ones.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of having people who have no clue what they’re talking about being in charge of such important organizations. Carson has clearly shown bias against trans people which definitely clashes with him being in charge of the HUD. But like I said before, I don’t really expect much.
Source: The Washington Post