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Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson recently made derogatory comments about transgender people, upsetting a number of members of his staff, according to a new report.
The Washington Post found, citing sources, that Carson made transphobic comments about “big, hairy men” going into women’s homeless shelters during a meeting with HUD staff recently and said society did not know the difference between men and women.
The remarks caused at least one staffer to leave the meeting in protest, and upset others in attendance, according to the Post. An official at HUD disputed that Carson made the remarks when asked by the news outlet.
Carson’s transphobic comments drew swift condemnation.
Alphonso David, the president of advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, criticized the HUD secretary’s “disgust toward the existence of trans people.”
“This is what Trump’s cabinet officials do. @SecretaryCarson has spent his political career expressing disgust toward the existence of trans people. From day 1, this administration has made it clear that the cruelty of their words & actions is the point,” David wrote in a series of tweets. “From his comments on trans service members to his support for a proposal that would literally permit emergency shelters to turn away trans people who are homeless, hardly surprising that @SecretaryCarson would blatantly dehumanize trans people in his official capacity.”
“During a year in which at least 19 trans people — 18 of them Black trans women — have been killed, these remarks only exacerbate this crisis, further dehumanizing the most vulnerable among us. Tens of millions of Equality Voters will hold this administration accountable in 2020.”
From his comments on trans service members to his support for a proposal that would literally permit emergency shelters to turn away trans people who are homeless, hardly surprising that @SecretaryCarson would blatantly dehumanize trans people in his official capacity.— Alphonso David (@AlphonsoDavid) September 20, 2019
Former HUD secretary and current 2020 hopeful Julian Castro also condemned the remarks.
“19 Black trans women have been killed this year because comments like Ben Carson’s normalize violence against them. As HUD Secretary, I protected trans people, I didn’t denigrate them,” Castro tweeted.
19 Black trans women have been killed this year because comments like Ben Carson’s normalize violence against them.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) September 20, 2019
As HUD Secretary, I protected trans people, I didn’t denigrate them.https://t.co/yibDnZAypj
In May, HUD moved to undo an Obama-era rule that required same-sex shelters to “provide equal access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with an individual’s gender identity,” according to Politico.
You can read all of the Washington Post report here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).