The U.S. Senate will soon vote on the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine as the very first transgender person ever considered for such a high-level government position. That means that in almost 250 years, no president has appointed an openly trans person for any high-level position in the federal government that requires consent and approval from the Senate. This is truly historic.
Her confirmation process is a chance for us to gauge how much things have changed for trans people. Will she be treated fairly and respectfully by all senators, or will she be slandered by the tropes and a political hit job that we all know too well?
Dr. Levine was previously the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Levine joined Governor Tom Wolf’s administration in January 2015 as the Physician General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and served from 2015 to 2017. She was named Acting Secretary of Health in July 2017 and confirmed as Secretary of Health in March 2018.
In addition to her recent positions, Dr. Levine is an accomplished regional and international speaker, and author on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders, and LGBTQ medicine. Dr. Levine graduated from Harvard College and the Tulane University School of Medicine. She completed her training in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.