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Caitlyn Jenner responded to President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday that he plans to ban transgender military members from serving “in any capacity.”
Jenner wrote on Twitter: “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?”
She later posted an in-depth response on her website, saying, “I believe every American should be outraged by the disrespect shown to those people wearing our country’s uniform.” She also calls Trump’s declaration a “half-baked idea” that “puts all of our service members in harm’s way.”
Citing studies that show that transgender people are more likely than the general population to enlist and that there are approximately 134,000 transgender veterans in the U.S. today, Jenner calls on Trump to change his position: “The President must ask himself which side of history he will be on — and reverse his position immediately.”
She concludes: “America’s 15,000 trans service members and 134,000 veterans are much braver than you, Mr. Trump; my allegiance is with them and our country, not you.”
Earlier in the day, Jenner’s name trended on Twitter as social media users called for her to speak out and take action against the news.
Jenner considers herself a transgender rights activist. The former Olympian has defended her support for Trump, saying that she as a Republican she supports him even if she doesn’t always agree with his views.
While on The View recently, Jenner said she’s been reaching out to members of Trump’s administration to “help them” on LGBTQ issues. She said that she had hoped Trump would be a “bit more outspoken” in his support of the LGBTQ community he had promised to protect, but Jenner said she thinks “it’s a lot of the people around him” who are affecting the president.
On July 16, Jenner reiterated to John Catsimatidis that she is trying to sway Republicans to improve their stances on LGBTQ rights. She also said that she is weighing a senatorial run. “Over the next six months or so I gotta find out where I can do a better job,” Jenner said on the CATS radio show. “Can I do a better job from the outside working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody, or are you better off from the inside?”
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? https://t.co/WzjypVC8Sr
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) July 26, 2017
When the Trump administration rescinded guidelines that protected transgender students’ rights to use bathrooms based on their gender identity, Jenner made a video addressing Trump. “From one Republican to another, this is a disaster,” she said. In a Diane Sawyer interview, she said, “I did vote for Trump, but here’s the deal-breaker with the Republican party. And the deal-breaker is, you mess with my community, you do the wrong thing with our community, you don’t give us equality and a fair shot, I’m coming after you.”
A year ago, Jenner defended Trump as an LGBTQ supporter. “He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue,” she said. “He backed the LGBT community. But in Trump’s case, there’s a lot more unknowns. With Hillary, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get with the LGBT community.”
On Wednesday, celebrities, activists and journalists called out Jenner for her support of Trump and asked her to speak out in the hours between Trump’s announcement and her tweet. A few people pointed specifically to her comments about Trump being behind the LGBT community when addressing her. Sandra Bernhard wrote, “Caitlyn Jenner, wake up sweetheart give Your wonderful president a call.”
— Sandra Bernhard (@SandraBernhard) July 26, 2017
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 26, 2017
— Anne Frank Center (@AnneFrankCenter) July 26, 2017
.@Caitlyn_Jenner You still good with Trump?
— andy lassner (@andylassner) July 26, 2017
.@Caitlyn_Jenner, what say you now?
— deray mckesson (@deray) July 26, 2017
To all the LGBT Americans (including Caitlyn Jenner) who supported Trump and believed him, what were you thinking? https://t.co/hbSXWAcamV
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) July 26, 2017
5:06 p.m.: Updated to include details from Jenner’s full statement.
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