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LA City Council candidate called gender confirmation surgery ‘shameful excess’

LA City Council candidate called gender confirmation surgery ‘shameful excess’

Joe Bray-Ali had won the endorsement of the LA Times

In a matter of days, Joe Bray-Ali has gone from legitimate threat to unseat an incumbent on the Los Angeles City Council to politically-crippled candidate.

A series of online anti-trans and racist comments made by the 38 year old have surfaced. Among them is a post in which Bray-Ali says gender-confirmation surgery for transgender people ‘doesn’t seem like something worthy of praise, but instead of being criticized as a shameful excess.’

Bray-Ali had been endorsed by openly gay City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell who withdrew his support today.

‘I am deeply disappointed by his highly insensitive comments in online forums that breed hate and dehumanize already marginalized communities,’ O’Farrell said in a statement.

‘People that I love and care about are hurt by these comments. There is no place for this type of speech anywhere, especially in the City of Angels, and I am concerned he has compromised his ability to be an effective leader.’

Bray-Ali is trying to unseat Gil Cedillo to represent the city’s First District.

O’Farrell’s endorsement was noteworthy because he endorsed a challenger over a council colleague.

Bray-Ali had also been endorsed twice by the Los Angeles Times including earlier this month.

The candidate posted the comments on racist forums on the Voat channel, according to LAist.

Bray-Ali has posted a video on his Facebook page saying he planned to stay in the race.

‘I’m going to have to live with this moment for the rest of my life,’ he says in the video.

He also says: ‘I’m very sorry for my ignorant comments about people who are transsexual. It’s coming from a place of ignorance. I had no idea at the time, as I do now after all the preparation I’ve gone through to be a council member, what the needs and desires, hopes, aspirations look like for people that are trans. I’ve been trying to get myself briefed to understand things.’

The candidate explained his behavior to The Times this way: ‘Many of the things that I wrote, I didn’t even believe them when I wrote them. I was trying to have an argument with racists online. I found a place where they go and I tried to spark an argument with them.’