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'Faux Outrage': Rachel Levine Responds to Criticism Of Trans Day Of Visibility

'The more I’m attacked, the more it motivates me to work harder and to advocate more'

'Faux Outrage': Rachel Levine Responds to Criticism Of Trans Day Of Visibility

Adm. Rachel Levine, the United States' assistant secretary for health, mocked critics who took issue with Transgender Day of Visibility falling on Easter Sunday this year.

Critics lambasted President Joe Biden's proclamation of March 31's Transgender Day of Visibility as "abhorrent," noting the proclamation fell on Easter Sunday and was an insult to the Christian faith. Others noted the Transgender Day of Visibility, which began its annual celebration in 2009, has always been held on March 31, while the date of Easter Sunday changes year to year.

Levine, who identifies as a transgender woman, discussed the weekend's controversy in an exclusive interview with The Advocate.

“I felt that it was faux outrage. It was manufactured," Levine said. "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.”

“The more I’m attacked, the more it motivates me to work harder and to advocate more,” Levine added.

“I see them, I hear them, and I support them," the assistant health secretary said of other transgender-identifying people. “I am able to compartmentalize any feelings I have and then work them out myself and with my friends and my family."

Levine then quoted Star Wars, saying, “‘Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering."

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

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said backlash to Transgender Day of Visibility was due to "misinformation."

"As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American,” Jean-Pierre said. "This misinformation out there [is] bad and it is dividing.”

On Saturday, Biden issued a statement from the White House proclaiming Sunday as 2024's Transgender Day of Visibility, marking the fourth consecutive year for the president.

"I am proud that my Administration has stood for justice from the start, working to ensure that the LGBTQI+ community can live openly, in safety, with dignity and respect," Biden wrote. "I am proud to have appointed transgender leaders to my Administration and to have ended the ban on transgender Americans serving openly in our military. I am proud to have signed historic Executive Orders that strengthen civil rights protections in housing, employment, health care, education, the justice system, and more. I am proud to have signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law, ensuring that every American can marry the person they love."

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