Mecklenburg County Commissioner candidate Joel Levy accused of transphobia, responds

Yesterday, I wrote a post about Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James running for reelection after serving two decades and, in that time, making numerous homophobic and racist comments, not to mention his anti-gay voting record. The article listed seven of his worst moments, and originally encouraged District 6 voters to finally oust him. Unfortunately, they only have one alternative, candidate Joel Levy, also a Republican and, it seems, perhaps another poor choice for the LGBT community and our allies.

Twitter user @BullCityVA commented on the post when we shared it, calling out Levy for an alleged transphobic post on his personal Facebook page, as well as voicing displeasure that we (I) would offer him as a better alternative. I had not seen the post at the time of writing the previous article on James, and when I went looking for it could not uncover it. It appears Levy may have taken his advice and changed his privacy settings, or perhaps deleted it.

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I reached out to both individuals to try to get more answers, eventually hearing back from Levy in an email, which you can read below. First, the Twitter conversation that played out between @BullCityVA and Joel Levy, who admitted that the Facebook page in question was his and did not refute the characterization of the post as described by @BullCityVA, who claims Levy called transgender individuals “perverts.”

Levy finally said, “I would be the first person to say that was highly inappropriate.”

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Please note that the tweets are in reverse chronological order, so read it from bottom to top.

joel levy transphobia

joel levy transphobia

UPDATE (1/19/16, 4:15 p.m.): Levy responded to my email seeking clarification. Here is his response, in full, not edited for spelling or grammar. You’ll notice Levy refers to Caitlyn Jenner as “Bruce” and calls her as “he,” and also implies that sexuality and gender are a choice.

Thank you for reaching out.   That was a very interesting exchange.

I changed my facebook access as it was made aware to me that people could see my family and children (something that I am protective of) — and that was not not something that I considered.

As it relates to your question – I do not believe the “pervert” comment was not done by me or any friend, but was in the headline of a shared story by Matt Walsh (a conservative blogger).    In the story headline, he called the man, dressed as little girl living with another family, “perverts”.

My comments were around the strangeness of the story.   What should not be surprising is that as a conservative, I find it disturbing that an adult man would leave his wife and children to go live with another couple to act as their female child.  However, Pervert — was the bloggers point.

As it relates to Bruce Jenner — my views are that he is being put up as a hero.   I believe heros are people who give their lives for something greater than themselves.  I don’t consider athletes heros, politicians or generic fame to be heroic.  I do not believe one can be a hero based solely on sexuality or gender choices.

Lastly I was asked (accused) if I though that people should be harassed in the workplace for their sexuality.   I don’t think harassment has a place in the workforce.   I think the poster presumed that I supported harassment because of my political affiliation.  I do not.

The article Levy refers to seems to be this one: “Clearly, We Need More Shame And Judgment In Our Society,” based on the content, although the headline, as you can see, does not include the word “pervert.” I asked Levy if this is the article he was referring to, and he responded (this time edited for clarity), “That looks like the article. If you read the Facebook info to it you will see the word pervert in the intro paragraph.

This refers to the summary that shows up when you share the article on Facebook, which does indeed include the word “pervert,” which shows up early in the article.

 

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Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.