- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A year after naming Rachel Levine as one of its “Women of the Year,” USA Today has once again honored someone who wasn’t always a woman.

Minnesota state Rep. Leigh Finke, who transitioned from male to female in 2017, was feted as one of the newspaper’s 2023 Women of the Year, capturing the award after less than three months in office.

“In November after her first bid for public office, Finke became the first transgender legislator appointed to the Minnesota House of Representatives after winning 81% of the vote in her district,” USA Today said.

The Democratic lawmaker, selected as the newspaper’s honoree from the state of Minnesota, was described in the article as someone who has been “an activist for transgender and LGBTQ+ rights, as well as Black Lives Matter, almost her whole life.”

“I know what I’m doing here, right? I know why I ran for office. I know what it means to want to find someone in office who is like you,” said the lawmaker in the article. “So that’s why I’m running. I want to do many things across many issues. But at the end of the day, the reason I’m here is because nobody who’s trans has ever been here before.”

Not surprisingly, there was plenty of pushback on social media.

“Meet Leigh Finke, a transgender legislator in Minnesota,” tweeted Sarah Fields, president of the Texas Freedom Coalition. “HE is one of USA TODAY’s ‘Women of the Year.’ So many wonderful women truly deserve this kind of recognition. #USAToday can shove their contempt towards real women where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Another commenter said: “Biological male Leigh Finke beat out every biological woman in Minnesota to become one of USA TODAY’s Women of the Year.”

Minnesota House Democrats cheered the award, tweeting: “Please join us in celebrating this well deserved recognition of our colleague Rep. @leighfinke!”

Other 2023 Women of the Year honorees include former first lady Michelle Obama, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey, and the U.S. women’s soccer team.

USA Today caused a ruckus last year for honoring Rachel Levine, Health and Human Services assistant secretary, who transitioned from male to female in 2011.

The award inspired the Babylon Bee to name Dr. Levine its “Man of the Year,” prompting Twitter to suspend the Christian conservative satire site for violating its policy against “hateful conduct.”

The account remained locked for most of the year after the Bee refused to remove the tweet.

In October, billionaire Elon Musk, an unabashed fan of the Babylon Bee, bought Twitter for $44 billion and promised to turn it into a haven for free speech. Mr. Musk reinstated the Babylon Bee’s account in November.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide