A candidate to lead the North Carolina Democratic Party has apologised for calling her trans opponent a ‘man’.
Patsy Keever, a former state House member, made the comment about her opponent, trans woman Janice Covington Allison during a candidates forum . Trans activist Ms Allison was listing the groups she had represented at the Democratic National Convention – disabled veterans, women, senior citizens and LGBT people – but could not remember the fifth group. Ms Keever suggested “man”.
Ms Allison immediately hit back: “Honey, there ain’t no man left in here.”
She told qnotes “I was shocked when I heard what she said. I would compare it to someone using a bigoted slur against me.
“I am a proud transgender woman and for me to be violated in this way at a public forum by a leader of the party was completely out of line.”
In her apology, Ms Keever said: “During the candidates’ forum in Gaston County, I referred to you using an incorrect gender pronoun. That was inaccurate and offensive, and not the way that I would conduct myself as chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party.”
Ms Allison said she had accepted the apology but “it’s bigger than me” and that she had encouraged Ms Keever to apologise to the wider trans community as well.
LGBT Democrats of North Carolina said they were supportive of Ms Keever despite her comments. President Ryan Butler said: “I have known Patsy for more than 5 years. As many people already know, I have already personally endorsed Patsy Keever for Chair and I remain as committed to that endorsement as I was when I first made it.
“I’m enthusiastic about her commitment to work together on LGBT issues.”