MORRIS – A menu from the Crossroads Tavern in Morris Township featuring a transphobic item mocking Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, who is transgender, is drawing anger in Tioga County and across the Twin Tiers.
The menu item references male anatomy available on the 50 cent menu.
The Crossroads Tavern posted an apology on its Facebook in response to the community reaction.
“Last week a menu was printed for the tavern that was in poor taste. Although I did not print the menu, I am at fault for allowing it to be displayed at my tavern. It was in bad taste and I never meant to offend anyone. I am sorry if I allowed it. I am sorry Dr. Levine and anyone else that was offended. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am not a judgmental person. Once again, I am sorry for my lack of judgement.”
18 News spoke with the Crossroads Tavern owner, who said that he never meant to hurt anyone and that he wants to put this in the past. He declined to give an on-camera interview.
Leon Rockwell III, a trans woman from Morris, says the intention might not have been to hurt people, but acts like these do.
“What might seem like a small laugh amongst a couple of locals can actually be very devastating to trans people in the community,” Rockwell III said.
She says that acts like this sends a message to people within the community that can be hurtful.
“To people who are still closeted, this will confirm the fears that a lot of younger people, especially have about coming out. If I was a young teenager witnessing this story at this time watching a public official who is openly trans get attacked like this would confirm my suspicions, I would say coming out is not safe,” said Rockwell III.
This is coming out only days after Governor Tom Wolf released a statement in response to a Facebook video at the Bloomsburg Fair mocking Dr. Levine: “Hate has no place in Pennsylvania, even in the smallest transphobic joke, action or social media post. I’m calling upon all Pennsylvanians to speak out against hateful comments and acts, including the transphobia directed at Dr. Levine and all Transgender people in our great commonwealth.”
18 News has reached out to Dr. Levine for comment.