Conservative proposals targeting the rights of transgender people have swept the nation, and that's particularly true for Texas. Most recently, right-wing Governor Greg Abbott imposed a directive for the city's child services department to begin investigating parents of transgender children for child abuse—a move which has led state officials to demand the medical records of transgender children, showing up at their homes and schools.
Now, the state's far-right Attorney General, Ken Paxton, is making waves on social media for calling Dr. Rachel Levine—President Joe Biden's assistant Secretary of Health, who happens to be a transgender woman—a man.
Twitter soon flagged the tweet for violating its rules against hateful conduct.
Paxton has since doubled down, issuing a lengthy statement once again misgendering Levine and claiming he was just trying to "follow the science."
The statement read in part:
"This whole insane episode represents a two-pronged attack from the left—both of which I'm vigorously fighting against. First is the left's war against human biology, and especially against women. Second is their weaponization of Big Tech against conservative voices."
Shortly after, Paxton posted another tweet calling NCAA swimmer and trans woman Lia Thomas a man. Both his smear against Thomas and his longer statement regarding his tweet about Levine have been flagged for hateful conduct.
Conservatives like Paxton frequently use "science" to invalidate transgender people, who have existed for thousands of years. Not only are there differences between sex (which deals with phenotypical and genetic characteristics) and gender (which deals with societal roles assigned by humans based on genitalia), but actual science is by no means binary in terms of sex.
What's more, repeated misgendering of transgender individuals has been proven to lead to emotional distress and suicidal ideation, which is likely why Twitter flagged Paxton's tweet for hateful conduct.
Nevertheless, conservatives on social media were enraged that the tweet got flagged, and soon began echoing Paxton's misrepresentation of science.
But not everyone was on board with Paxton's hate, with many noting his indictment on securities-fraud charges.
Paxton remains popular with conservative voters in the Lone Star State.