WATCH: Dr. Rachel Levine Gives Rand Paul’s Transphobic Disinformation No Quarter

When attacked with biased, discriminatory disinformation about a demographic of which one is a member, it’s easy to fall into the trap of defending, arguing, and trying to prove the truth — even if it’s not pertinent to the discussion at hand. Dr. Rachel Levine, President Joe Biden’s nominee for assistant secretary for health, simply held her ground. Senator Rand Paul hammered away at her during a confirmation hearing with vile falsehoods about transgender rights and protections for trans kids, and Dr. Levine stood her ground but refused to be drawn in.

Dr. Rachel Levine doesn't accept hate rhetoric from Rand Paul
[Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

In the clip below, you can see Paul using his question to push lies and disinformation. He conflates gender confirmation surgery with genital mutilation. He accuses Levine of supporting “surgical destruction of a minor’s genitalia.” He demands that she confirm minors shouldn’t be allowed to decide they want breasts and genitalia amputated.

This is all disinformation — comparing genital mutilation to gender confirmation surgery is like comparing a stabbing to a surgical procedure. One of these is done only when there is medical confirmation of need — in the case of trans individuals, typically only in adulthood and after rigorous mental health evaluations.

To cite a single example, see the Mayo Clinic on top surgery for trans men — a candidate in the U.S. must typically be aged 18 or older, have a letter of support from a mental health profession, not have any untreated mental health conditions, be informed of the risks and of alternative options, and have “persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria” — not the whim that right-wing ideologues like to claim.

Pink News corrects the record on the next lie — Dr. Levine has not made statements in support of irreversible surgical procedures for minors, only for normal trans health care — including reversible puberty blockers where medically warranted.

Dr. Levine doesn’t engage in a fight with the Senator though — she calmly invites him to, if he’d like, come to her office some time to discuss the complications of medical care for trans individuals.

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