Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who has a rich history of mocking transgender people, visibly upset many of his staffers by floating that “big hairy men” may try to gain entry to women’s homeless shelters, a remark that many present took as a shot at transgender women.
According to the Washington Post, staffers reacted viscerally, with one woman leaving the meeting in protest.
Earlier this week, Carson also lamented that society could no longer differentiate between men and women.
While running his failed presidential campaign, he called transgender people “abnormal” and his department rolled out a proposal in May that would allow federally funded shelters to lump transgender women in with men, forcing shared bathrooms and sleeping quarters.
A HUD senior official denied the account to the Post, saying that Carson “does not use derogatory language to refer to transgendered individuals.”