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Things We Saw Today: Twitter Suspends Republican Rep. For Misgendering Trans Health Official

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Content warning: misgendering, transphobia.

Earlier this year, Dr. Rachel Levine made history when she was named the assistant secretary for health, making her the highest-ranking openly transgender federal official to ever hold office in the U.S., as well as the first trans person to ever win a senate confirmation. Her position in the Department of Health was also a clear message that transgender health issues are an important priority for the current administration.

A Republican congressman from Indiana was suspended from Twitter this weekend after he tweeted out some transphobic BS about Levine, who was also recently commissioned as a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

From his official Twitter account, Rep. Jim Banks tweeted a completely unoriginal jab, misgendering Levine and attempting to diminish her accomplishments. “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man,” he wrote, broadcasting his own ignorance on main for all to see.

That kind of transphobic nonsense is distressingly prevalent on Twitter, but for once, the platform actually intervened to uphold its own code of conduct. Banks’ official government account was temporarily locked due to his violation of the site’s Hateful Conduct Policy.

Banks has not apologized for his hateful comment. Instead, he’s doubled down, moving his transphobia over to his personal account and accusing Twitter of “canceling” him for stating “facts.”

I very much hope Banks’ personal account also ends up being “canceled.” I also hope Twitter starts enforcing its own terms of service in regard to the countless randos who also engage in this sort of hate speech daily. (via The Hill)

  • There are more Americans getting their booster shot right now than there are those getting their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. With only 58% of the population fully vaccinated, that’s not great! But also, those numbers are likely to change dramatically once kids are finally approved to receive the vaccine. (via CNBC)
  • Succession’s Kieran Culkin will host SNL next month! (via TV Line)
  • Halyna Hutchins’ husband announces an AFI scholarship fund set up in her memory to support aspiring female cinematographers. (via AV Club)
  • This is the spooky season content I crave:

  • Pinhead was really having a day today:

  • Did You season 3 get its ending all wrong? (via Pajiba)
  • Edgar Wright curated a list of spooky watches available to stream on Peacock for their delightfully named Peacocktober. (via /Film)
  • It looks like Ryan Gosling will be playing Ken to Margot Robbie’s Barbie. (via IGN)

What did you all see out there today?

(image: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.