Caitlyn Jenner
(G Holland/Shutterstock)

California Gubernatorial Candidate Caitlyn Jenner Under Intense Fire for Anti-Trans Comments Attacking Her Own Community

In a twist that’s appropriate for a long-running star of reality TV, transgender activist and Olympic gold medal-winning athlete Caitlyn Jenner is being sharply criticized both on social media and in the press for a comment she made attacking trans athletes — a group that she is perhaps ironically the most famous member.

It all started last week when Jenner announced that she would be running for Governor of California, following news that citizens of the state had gathered enough signatures to force a recall election of current Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Following that announcement, reporters for gossip site TMZ recently caught up with Jenner for an impromptu interview, tossing a few questions her way while she finished some errands. When asked about the recent spate of anti-trans bills currently being pushed by Republican lawmakers across the state, Jenner — who is also a notoriously conservative Republican herself — said that she actually supported legislation keeping trans athletes from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

“This is a question of fairness,” Jenner said in the TMZ video. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” 

Aware that she may have struck a controversial chord with her statement, Jenner took to Twitter a few hours and doubled down on her comment, tweeting, “I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I’m clear about where I stand. It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”

Glenn Garner of Entertainment Weekly reported that reaction to the comment has been swift and heated, from all areas of the political world, the LGBTQ community and Hollywood.

“Trans activist and Transparent actress Shakina Nayfack was one of many to hit back at Jenner on Twitter,” said Garner. Nayfack wrote, “Caitlyn Jenner is classically uninformed, wildly privileged, and tragically self-hating.”

According to Garner, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 4 winner Trinity “The Tuck” Taylor also spoke out, saying, “A trans girl is a girl. A trans boy is a boy. Everyone’s built [differently] no matter what gender you are. There [are] very small-framed people and also larger framed muscular people all across the spectrum! STOP finding ways to delegitimize someone’s gender. SHAME ON [YO]U @Caitlyn_Jenner.”

Writer and activist Charlotte Clymer also reacted to the comment, saying, “Caitlyn Jenner completely fails to understand the science here. This has not been a problem. The GOP is fabricating this issue and funding Jenner to claim this nonsense. She is about as credible as any paid shill.”

As we’ve previously reported, trans athletes are already under attack across the country with nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ bills currently under consideration across the U.S. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 93 of those bills directly target transgender individuals.

While many of those bills are focused purely on the supposed unfairness of transgender girls competing in sports against cisgender girls, even TMZ itself knows the truth. Although many Republicans continue to make this argument, studies on potentially elevated testosterone levels in trans athletes having any significant impact on an individual’s overall athletic performance are inconclusive — and there are no documented cases to show this is even a legit or accurate issue we should be worried about.

Garner adds that Jenner’s comments are also directly in opposition to the statement she made when she declared her candidacy for Governor, saying that she thought her celebrity could help to make life better for trans individuals. 

“I thought, what a great opportunity to change the world’s thinking; 51% of trans people attempt suicide. The murder rate [is terrible] — we’ve been losing one trans woman of color every two weeks,” said Jenner. “I love my community. I truly want to help.”

It’s also not the first time Jenner’s political comments have caused a serious backlash against the star. In a 2018 op-ed, she wrote an apology letter backtracking for her adamant support of President Trump during his election run. 

“I thought Trump would help trans people,” she wrote. “I was wrong.”

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…