Yes, Caitlyn Jenner backed Donald Trump for president — and, yes, she regrets it.
The reality star and transgender rights advocate penned an opinion piece for the Washington Post on Thursday admitting she was “wrong” in supporting Trump for president, as his administration attempts to roll back protections for transgender people.
Jenner, who was memorably photographed in a MAGA hat, expressed that she was naïve in her “highly publicized and glamorized early Caitlyn days, when my life as an out trans woman was just beginning.” She thought that Trump, who “was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community” (at the 2016 RNC), would “stand up for the LGBTQ community.” And she hoped to “leverage my privilege for change” by working with his administration to “shift the minds of those who most needed shifting.”
However, while she made many trips to Washington, D.C., “to lobby and educate members of Congress, other Washington policymakers and powerful influencers” and felt encouraged, she said she has come to realize, “Sadly, I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president.” Jenner, who has already said she has no plans to vote for him in 2020, wrote that Trump “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. It is unacceptable, it is upsetting, and it has deeply, personally, hurt me.”
In case she wasn’t clear, she added: “Believing that I could work with Trump and his administration to support our community was a mistake.”
The Secrets of My Life author said she decided to speak out after the recently leaked Health and Human Services Department memo that suggested that a person’s gender should be determined by their genitalia at birth. She also cited Trump’s proposed ban on allowing transgender personnel in the military, and the “rollback of Obama-era protections for trans schoolchildren.” According to a 2016 estimate by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, 1.4 million U.S. adults identify as transgender.
“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 wrote. “My hope in him — in them — was misplaced, and I cannot support anyone who is working against our community. I do not support Trump. I must learn from my mistakes and move forward.”
Jenner also commented on the criticism she’s faced — most recently earlier this week when she posted “Trans people won’t be erased” on social media and she was attacked for voting for Trump in the first place. She made it clear it just makes her “more determined than ever” to find her place as an advocate, admitting, “I need to listen more to the members of the LGBTQ community and to learn more. I need to better use my voice, my privilege, and my foundation to advocate for and support our community.”
But Jenner said that she will “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. I will still work with anyone who is committed to help our community.” The reason, she added, is because “The world needs to hear us. The world needs to know us. We will not be erased.”
Jenner has slowly grown more vocal in her unhappiness with Trump. While she spoke out about his proposed transgender military ban, she initially still supported him. Then she apologized for wearing the MAGA hat. By earlier this year, she was slamming him, and now she’s admitting she was wrong in ever supporting him.
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