‘The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man’: Twitter SUSPENDS Indiana rep for misgendering transgender Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine
- Republican Rep. Jim Banks posted tweets regarding Dr. Rachel Levine becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in the US uniformed services
- The post was removed with a reference to a Twitter ban on ‘targeted misgendering’ of transgender people, but Banks’ account remained online
- Banks refused to apologize, saying: ‘My tweet was a statement of fact’
- He previously said branding Levine the first female four-star officer ‘is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day’
- Despite Banks’ comments, Levine is not the nation’s first woman four-star officer
An Indiana state representative had his official account suspended by Twitter for referring to the transgender Assistant Health Secretary as ‘a man.’
Jim Banks’ work account was suspended on Saturday after he wrote: ‘The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,’
He did so after Assistant Health Secretary Dr Rachel Levine was promoted to the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps as she was confirmed as Joe Biden’s Assistant Health Secretary on October 19.
She is the first trans four-star officer in the US uniformed services, but other women have achieved the same rank before her, contrary to Banks’ claims.
Banks had responded to the U.S. surgeon general congratulating Levine on her promotion in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by writing: ‘The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.’
The post was removed with a reference to Twitter rules that include a ban on ‘targeted misgendering’ of transgender people.
Misgendering refers to using the gender identity a transgender person previously went by.
Banks´ official Twitter account remained online Sunday but he wasn´t allowed to add new posts.
Congressman Jim Banks was suspended from Twitter after he initially misgendered assistant secretary of health Dr. Rachel Levine, the first trangender person to hold an office that requires Senate confirmation
Banks refused to apologize for his comments, saying: ‘My tweet was a statement of fact. Big Tech doesn´t have to agree with me, but they shouldn´t be able to cancel me’
His personal account with fewer followers remained active.
Banks was misguided in calling Levine the ‘first female four-star officer.’
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody became the first female four-star general in U.S. military history in 2008.
Levine is the first transgender person to hold an office that requires Senate confirmation
Although Levine the first openly transgender four-star officer in the U.S. uniformed services, she’s not the first woman to hold the position
Levine was sworn in as assistant secretary for health and a four-star admiral on October 19
He previously posted about Levine: ‘Calling someone that was born and lived as a man for 54 years the first “female” four-star officer is an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking glass ceilings one day.’
Banks, whose district covers Fort Wayne and surrounding northeastern Indiana, has frequently drawn attention with right-wing social media comments. He stood by his post about Levine.
‘My tweet was a statement of fact,’ Banks said in a statement. ‘Big Tech doesn´t have to agree with me, but they shouldn´t be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you. We can´t allow Big Tech to prevent us from telling the truth.’
Banks previously called Levine’s promotion ‘an insult to every little girl who dreams of breaking the glass ceiling’
Banks’ comments were not without pushback.
‘Simply unimaginable that a specifically-labeled, qualified beyond question is a threat to ANY female,’ @LynneMarkgraf tweeted in response to one of Banks’ tweets.
‘Dr. Levine attained rank on qualifications alone; not gender. You’re very confused in your thinking and it’s tragically mean.’
Added @SelinaHorwath: ‘Don’t advocate for my daughter or any other “little girl” you don’t have that privilege.’
Banks called on his followers to connect to his personal Twitter page, and said ‘big tech must be held accountable’ for suspending him after he violated the company’s terms
Victory Institute executive director Ruben Gonzales was also critical of the politician.
‘Whether Jim knows it or not, he has served next to countless LGBTQ military members who risk everything for our country, and with hundreds of LGBTQ appointees who work tirelessly for the American people,’ he said in a statement.
Some others sided with the congressman.
‘It’s a sad day when you get in trouble for telling the Truth.’ tweeted @Charles_W_White.
‘Calling it what it is,’ added @CliftonDustin. ‘Boss mode.’
Levine, born Richard Levine in Massachusetts in 1957, attended a private boys school outside of Boston and openly talked about her transition, which she completed in 2013
Prior to her appointment as admiral of the USPHS Commissioned Corps, Levine served as the Pennsylvania Department of Health secretary. Governor Tom Wolf appointed his deputy chief of staff, Alison Beam, to take over the public health position.
Levine, who was born Richard Levine in Massachusetts in 1957, attended a private boys school outside of Boston. She has talked openly about her transition, recalling that even as a young child: ‘All I knew is I wanted to be a girl, or I was a girl, or female.’
Levine began going to therapy about 20 years ago and slowly began growing her hair and coming out to her colleagues, students, patients, friends and family.
She completed her transition in 2013 after undergoing sex reassignment surgery and hormonal treatment, according to PennLive.
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