Former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg apologized in a private call with leaders in the transgender community Thursday for past comments that he made about transgender people.
Newly unearthed video shows the White House hopeful making comments referring to transgender people as “he, she, or it” and “some guy in a dress” who could enter girls’ locker rooms at a forum at the Bermuda Business Development Agency last March. The video was first reported by Bloomberg News earlier this month.
Another video of Bloomberg speaking at Oxford in 2016 showed the candidate also describing transgender people as “some man wearing a dress.” The former mayor was addressing why he believed people in the Midwest would not push for greater rights for transgender individuals.
Bloomberg referenced the recent murder of transgender woman Neulisa Luciano Ruiz in Puerto Rico. He said the death points to the importance of a president who could be a leader in protecting transgender people.
He also touted his signing of a 2002 bill in New York City affirming nondiscrimination protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
“As mayor, I signed a sweeping transgender civil rights bill and, as president, will promote policies that advance equality for transgender Americans who have been attacked by the Trump administration over the past three years,” Bloomberg said.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called on Bloomberg last week to apologize over the resurfaced comments that the organization said are transphobic.
“Words matter, and Mayor Bloomberg should apologize for using language that demoralizes and dehumanizes members of our community,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.