It Sure Took Long Enough for Caitlyn Jenner to Admit Supporting Donald Trump Was a Mistake

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Caitlyn Jenner, in an op-ed for The Washington Post, finally admitted that she was wrong in thinking that Donald Trump would help trans people and the LGBTQ community. While for many people this is a “no shit, Sherlock” moment, for me, as a cis-woman, it’s a reminder about how Jenner’s advocacy for Trump was given more attention than all of the other voices in the trans community who weren’t Trump supporters, and how Jenner’s problematic politics have been weaponized.

Trump being an ally for the LGBTQ community isn’t just an idea that Jenner herself promoted. According to exit polls on NBC, around 14% of the LGBTQ vote went to the Trump/Pence ticket, and they weren’t just privileged white women like Jenner. Their ages and races went across the board, with their reasoning for being pro-Trump having to do with issues outside of the LGBTQ communities. 19-year-old Anaise Hernandez, from Florida, voted for Trump because “gun rights are gay rights,” citing the Pulse tragedy and saying, “It’s important for the LGBT community to become informed about firearms.”

Vincent Foster, a black gay man from Miami, said that his main reason for supporting Trump was also tied to the second amendment. “Gun rights are gay rights. The best way to protect yourself is your Second Amendment right.” Foster also liked that Trump was committed to “stopping radical Islamic terror.”

When it came to the issue of Pence being a known homophobe, many LGBTQ Trump supporters, like Juan Hernandez, assumed that Trump’s supposedly more LGBTQ-friendly leanings would protect them against Pence’s. Plus, they were optimistic about a potential change of heart.

“If Pence begins to change discrimination laws protecting the LGBT community, I will be one of the people [in the] front row to come out and ensure the LGBT community is not harmed,” Hernandez said. “Pence had already evolved as he amended his freedom of religion act in Indiana.”

Well, Hernandez, I hope you’re doing that now.

Jenner says in her piece, “I believed I could work within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting. I made many trips to Washington to lobby and educate members of Congress, other Washington policymakers and powerful influencers. These meetings were generally positive and almost always led to encouraging conversations.”

I have no doubt that, with her money and celebrity status, people were eager to meet with Jenner because her support of the administration could operate as a smokescreen to their own problematic behavior. “It’s unacceptable, it is upsetting, and it has deeply, personally hurt me. […] 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 and support our community.” She was used, along with the other 14% of the LGBTQ Republican vote, as a weapon against the majority of people who did not vote for Trump within that community.

That all being said, Jenner’s support of Trump hasn’t always been used as a political tool, but also as a way to support transphobia.

I realized this when I listened to comedians talk about trans issues, with Caitlyn Jenner perpetually being the name on everyone’s tongue. Her experience was being co-opted as the trans experience, superseding other trans activists like Lavern Cox, Janet Mock, or Natalie Wynn. Caitlyn Jenner became a way for transphobic people to excuse their transphobia, giving them a “reason” to misgender her or call her experience that of a “white man” in a dismissive way.

Every time there’s a woman, LGBTQ, or POC Republican, we spend so much time wondering how? How? Simple: They care about their money, their guns, and their god more than they care about people. Jenner is a Republican because she supports their economic policies, because she wants to get paid, and she wanted to get paid enough that she could wish on a star that Trump picking a homophobic vice president was just a trick of the light.

Caitlyn Jenner, like 53% of white women across this country, voted for Trump, and while she has “learned” that Trump is not a defender of the trans community or the LGBTQ community on the whole, how is she going to use her tax break dollars to fix it? Listening is great, but she has money, access, and power. Either use it for something good, or stop putting the label of “activist” on your CV.

(via WaPo, image: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP/Getty Images)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.