For a quarter century, I have long been an ardent supporter and fighter for the transgender community, particularly working to expand healthcare access for low income transgender people. I recently learned of comments from three years ago attributed to one of my thousands of supporters. If my supporter made those comments - and she states the comments were taken out of context and that she supports the trans community - then I vigorously reject and disagree with the comments. I continue to engage in dialogue with my supporter so that I can understand her position and make clear to her that support for the trans community is personally important to me, including ensuring trans restroom access.
Partisan supporters of my opponent, Jane Kim, have latched on and manipulated this situation to attack me and to attack the entire Chinese American community. They are peddling the lie that I am somehow less than fully supportive of the trans community - a lie that is at odds with my quarter century of work to support the trans community. They also picketed a Chinese community fundraiser for my campaign - with hundreds of Chinese community members and leaders, including elected officials and the First Lady of San Francisco - and announced that the entire event was full of transphobes. Lies about me and broad-brush, racist stereotypes of an entire community have no place in San Francisco.
Rather than use a single person’s comments to attack me, I would hope my opponents might use this situation as an opportunity to educate our entire community and change attitudes about the needs of the transgender community. However, these partisans are more intent on trying to tear me down with false claims than they are interested in helping the trans community.
Anyone who is familiar with my record knows that I have been an outspoken advocate and fighter on behalf of the transgender community. I don't just talk about supporting the trans community. I do the work and deliver.
- I successfully fought to expand universal healthcare access to transgender people under San Francisco's healthcare program. (LINK: http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?article=67879&sec=news) According to Theresa Sparks, a longtime transgender community leader, former director of the Human Rights Commission, and advisor to the Mayor on transgender issues: "We would not have universal healthcare for transgender people in San Francisco without the efforts of Supervisor Wiener." (LINK: https://youtu.be/ouVaMCceVx0)
- I secured funding to hire a surgeon at San Francisco General Hospital to perform medically necessary transition procedures for transgender people.
- I helped draw attention to and obtained funding for innovative programs at UCSF for transgender and gender-non-confirming adolescents and children. (LINK: http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=70924)
- I'm currently authoring legislation to ban our city from doing business with states adopting anti-LGBT laws, including laws that ban trans people from using the restroom conforming to their gender identities. (LINK: http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SF-could-ban-business-with-firms-in-states-7377369.php)
- Each year, I obtain funding for the Trans March and the Transgender Film Festival.
Support for the transgender community is personal for me as a gay man. Growing up, my mother's cousin transitioned, and I saw firsthand the extreme challenges she faced as a trans woman. I've campaigned for two different transgender people running for the Board of Supervisors. Several different transgender community leaders in San Francisco took me under their wings and mentored me.I can say with confidence that I would not be in elected office without the mentorship and support of these trans men and women.
As a State Senator, I will use the power of the office to expand support for and education about transgender people statewide. I will continue to lead and partner with this amazing and resilient community.