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Pandemic hero Dr Rachel Levine receives outpouring of support after being targeted with vile transphobia – again

Lily Wakefield December 11, 2020
Dr Rachel Levine

Dr Rachel Levine. (PinkNews)

Thousands have rallied behind Pennsylvania health secretary Dr Rachel Levine after she was targeted with a huge transphobic sign on the side of a road.

Levine is a trans woman and politician who is leading the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis. She has been facing horrific transphobic abuse in recent weeks after she announced that Pennsylvania would expand its face mask requirements, as she prepares hospitals for a surge in coronavirus cases.

Now, a man named Brian Dwyer has put up a huge electronic sign next to route-19 on the way into Waterford, Pennsylvania, which reads: “Don’t let a man in a dress rule us, Waterford.”

Dwyer insisted that it was his property and he could write whatever he likes on it, but local resident Brittney Loper, 22, decided to fight back by starting a petition against his transphobic sign.

In just one day, almost 5,000 people have signed the petition to “show that not everyone in Waterford stands for hate”.

Loper told YourErie: “It was transphobic and it’s right at the centre of our town that welcomes people in.

“I was sick to my stomach about it, just thinking about the members of the LGBT+ community [who] saw this and felt like they weren’t welcomed and supported in our community.”

She added: “It’s so frustrating to see that, and to have someone so proudly put that on a sign is just disgusting.”

Loper’s petition seems to have already done its job, as Dwyer has reportedly now changed the electronic sign to read: “Happy holidays, please wear a mask.”

On 2 December Dr Rachel Levine called for unity in the United States and across the world as she accepted the PinkNews Award for Frontline Hero.

“It does not matter where you live, your race, your sexual orientation or your gender identity – you are important,” she said.

“We need to foster a spirit of acceptance, but even more than that, a spirit of welcoming and celebration to everyone to create better healthcare outcomes for all.”

More: Dr Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania

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