Caitlyn Jenner Says She Was "Wrong" to Think Trump Could Help With LGBTQ Issues
In a new op-ed for The Washington Post, penned in response to a possible Trump administration effort to roll back civil rights protections for transgender individuals, Jenner says her "outlook has changed" since she first came out as a trans woman and has "learned and continue[s] to learn."
In an op-ed published Thursday by The Washington Post, Caitlin Jenner has taken issue with a leaked memo from President Donald Trump's administration that says the government is considering legally defining gender based on the genitalia a person is born with and saying it can't be changed, thereby rolling back civil rights protections for transgender individuals.
"These past two years under President Trump have given me the opportunity to reflect on a lot of topics that have come up in the LGBTQ community and in our nation," Jenner wrote. "As I’ve watched and pondered, my outlook has changed significantly from what it was during my highly publicized and glamorized early Caitlyn days, when my life as an out trans woman was just beginning."
Jenner had spoken publicly in support of Trump in 2016 and 2017, saying she had voted for him in the 2016 presidential election. In 2015, she came out publicly as transgender and announced her name change from Bruce to Caitlyn.
"Since then, I have learned and continue to learn about the obstacles our community faces, the politics that surround us and the places my voice can help," Jenner said in the op-ed. "I have reflected on what my unique position of privilege means and how I can best use it to make a positive difference."
Jenner went on to say that she "saw fertile ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues" when Trump was elected. "I was optimistic that this was how I could leverage my privilege for change," she said. "Sadly, I was wrong."
Continued Jenner: "The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president. The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity. He has made trans people into political pawns as he whips up animus against us in an attempt to energize the most right-wing segment of his party, claiming his anti-transgender policies are meant to 'protect the country.' This is politics at its worst."
In July 2017, Trump had tweeted a plan to ban transgender people from U.S. military service. The announcement was met with much criticism, including from Jenner, who tweeted at the time, "There are 15,000 patriotic transgender Americans in the US military fighting for all of us. What happened to your promise to fight for them?"
In her op-ed, Jenner also addressed Trump's recent memo directly. "The recently leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo that suggests — preposterously and unscientifically — that the government ought to link gender to one’s genitalia at birth is just one more example in a pattern of political attacks," she wrote. "It’s clear these policies have come directly from Trump, and they have been sanctioned, passively or actively, by the Republicans by whose continued support he governs."
Jenner concluded her essay with a personal missive. "I must continue to educate political and corporate leaders about the issues of homelessness, job discrimination, violence, access to health care, prejudice in housing, depression, suicide and so many other issues that disproportionately affect our long-ignored community," she wrote. "I will still work with anyone who is committed to help our community. The world needs to hear us. The world needs to know us. We will not be erased."