Public outrage over photos of a man dressed as Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine at Bloomsburg fair

Written by on July 22, 2020

Public outrage over photos of a man dressed as Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine at Bloomsburg fair

By Tyler Pratt

July 22, 2020

Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine speaks during a press conference, announcing the 96th presumptive positive case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pennsylvania, inside PEMA headquarters on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

An Eastern PA state fair came under fire this week after posting photos that have been described as transphobic, showing a man at a Bloomsburg carnival game dressed up as Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. WLVR’s Tyler Pratt has more. 

Levine, a transgender woman, has been the helm of the state’s health response to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. But her visible role has accompanied various social media posts targeting her gender over the past several months. 

In now deleted Facebook photos from the fair, a man was seen dressed in a wig, dress and glasses and sitting on a pedestal of a dunk tank. With the caption naming the individual Dr. Levine and saying people attempted to dunk the person to raise money for local fire companies. 

Critics have called the action transphobic and Dr. Levine responded during a press conference Tuesday

“My only reaction is that I am going to stay – no matter what happens, laser-focused on protecting the public health in PA – our vision and the PA department of health is a Healthy Pennsylvania for all and i’m going to do absolutely everything i can to achieve that whether they agree with me or they don’t agree with me their health is still important to me,” said Levine.

The Lehigh Valley Bradbury Sullivan Center, an LBGTQ advocacy organization has called the fair’s actions “wrong on every level.” Fair organizers have not responded to calls for an apology. 

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