Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being met with increased scrutiny as he continues to surge in polls and as he qualified for his first-ever Democratic primary debate.

And now, according to Buzzfeed, transphobic comments made by Bloomberg just last year have come to light, even as his campaign recently released a video touting Bloomberg’s support of the LGBTQ+ community, featuring fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi.

The video showed Bloomberg dismissing transgender rights as not being a viable talking point for presidential candidates who want to win over Middle America and referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” and “some guy in a dress.”

“If your conversation during a presidential election is about some guy wearing a dress and whether he, she, or it can go to the locker room with their daughter, that’s not a winning formula for most people,” he said.

He went on to say that issues such as healthcare, education and safety are of more interest to people in the middle of the country.

And, according to the report, this is not the first time that Bloomberg has made such dismissive, callous comments, also making the “man wearing a dress” reference back in 2016.

Bloomberg’s campaign responded to Buzzfeed’s report, pointing to the mayor’s work for and with the community”

“Mike understands that the transgender community has been under attack for decades and the advance of rights has not been equal. In April 2002, during his first year as mayor, Mike signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill into law. His company provides comprehensive health care coverage for his transgender employees,” the statement read. “As president, he has a comprehensive plan to secure rights for transgender Americans, including passing the Equality Act, ensuring transgender people have access to affirming health care and working to end the crisis of violence against transgender women. Mike is running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the transgender community.”

Still, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ civil rights group in the United States is calling on the former mayor to formally apologize, NBC News reports.

“Transgender women aren’t “he-she or it”, they’re women. LGBTQ people are human and deserve to be treated with respect,” the organization’s president, Alphonso David said in a statement. “Words matter and Mayor Bloomberg should apologize for using language that demoralizes and dehumanizes members of our community.”

TOPICS: