Story at a glance

  • Democratic candidate Mike Bloomberg was recently discovered in old footage referring to a transgender woman as a man in a dress.
  • LGBTQ+ advocates call it “disgusting” as Bloomberg points to his inclusive public records.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is facing criticism over a 2016 video that shows him describing a hypothetical transgender woman as “some man wearing a dress,” NBC News reported Thursday.

The comments from the now-presidential candidate were made at Oxford University in December 2016. As an honorary knight of the British Order, Bloomberg was in England to talk about political challenges in the face of Brexit.

Bloomberg talked about differences in ideological beliefs and a “fundamental disconnect” between certain demographics. One example he cited to illustrate his point was the transgender bathroom debate in the U.S.

During his remarks, Bloomberg told the crowd, "If you want to know if somebody is a good salesman, give him the job of going to the Midwest and picking a town and selling to that town the concept that some man wearing a dress should be in a locker room with their daughter," Bloomberg said. "If you can sell that, you can sell anything. They just look at you and they say, 'What on Earth are you talking about?'"

Leaders of the LGBTQ+ community have argued that such comments undercut both the emotional and physical realities of being transgender, as well as the intellect of residents in the Midwest.

Human Rights Campaign employee Charlotte Clymer told NBC that Bloomberg’s comments were “deeply disgusting and disqualifying.”

Bloomberg’s campaign has responded to the criticism by highlighting the gender identity bill the former mayor signed into law in 2002, and told reporters that “Mike is running to defeat Donald Trump and reverse the many policies he has implemented that attack the rights of the transgender community.”

Published on Feb 07, 2020