If I had to define Caitlyn Jenner with just one word in the English language, without hesitation, I’d choose the word “Irksome.” This is not a new summation; it started with her vapid, orchestrated coming-out debut on the cover of Vanity Fair, introducing herself as the former Bruce Jenner, to be known going forward as Caitlyn.
I get it, she’s high-profile, and of course, it was an important story that one of the greatest male Olympians of all time had transitioned to becoming a transgender female. So, yes, that arguably warranted the cover story in Vanity Fair. However, after that point, Caitlyn Jenner seems to have done nothing but misstep her way through her female identity –starting with her admission of being a Trump voter.
Now on the heels of a rather comical rollout of her campaign to challenge Gavin Newsom for the governorship of California, Caitlyn has stepped in it again—this time making transphobic comments about trans athletes in women’s sports.
Speaking to TMZ on Saturday the failed reality show star revealed she’s no fan of allowing trans female athletes to compete against biological girls in sports. It’s a hot-button issue right now in politics, and Caitlyn made it known once again she may have transitioned her body, but her mind remains that of a white, right-winged Republican male.
As TMZ reports, Caitlyn flatly stated she does not support trans girls born as boys participating in all-female school sports because it’s an issue of “fairness and protecting the integrity of girls’ sports.”
Caitlyn is not the first and will not be the last person to debate trans athletes in women’s sports. Still, this position is particularly troublesome for her though because it’s yet another example of her perspectives being entirely antithetical to the plight of the LGBTQ.
Just add this to her list of peculiar positions for a trans woman, like the time on her now-cancelled show, I Am Cait, when she proclaimed her support for both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump as her top picks for the 2020 presidential race. Then, in that same episode, she said that Donald Trump would be a terrific president for supporting women’s issues while calling Hillary Clinton a political hack. Caitlyn went on to say, “If Hillary becomes president, the country is over.” Girl, seriously?
Even reported ex-girlfriend, transgender actress and model Candis Cayne, gagged at Caitlyn’s pro-Trump comments in the episode. And LGBTQ activists all across America were quick to inform Caitlyn that while on the campaign trail Donald Trump had been threatening to implement discriminatory actions against the LGBTQ, including banning trans soldiers. As for Trump being supportive of women, Caitlyn was reminded that Trump had 26 rape allegations against him and he refused to submit a DNA sample to clear his name in the rape allegation made by E. Jean Carroll.
In what oblivious world is someone like Trump “good for women,” be they trans or cisgender? In Caitlyn’s world, I suppose, which still seems to be heavily shaped and guided by right-winged conservatism, one of the most unwelcoming demographics for anyone in a marginalized group.
Caitlyn’s own run for political office against Newsom in California appears to be DOA. Within 24 hours of the announcement of her running, trans rights leaders across the nation, once again responded far from favorably.
The campaign launch was pulseless with a barrage of cheap branded “Caitlyn For California” merchandise like keychains, mugs, and T-shirts, accompanied by a campaign photo of her driving around Southern California in a convertible with her dog in the passenger seat. In that photo Caitlyn’s pinched nose snarl looks like she’d just realized the dog farted.
However, beyond the camp, an even bigger faux pas immediately drove a nail through the Caitlyn campaign’s coffin —members of her entire staff were hand-picked, former Trump campaign appointees. So, in essence, Caitlyn has proven herself to be no more than a reality TV star with no experience in political office, drenched in the ideology of Donald Trump. No thanks sis, we’ve already seen how that turns out.
According to NBC, the backlash against Caitlyn’s bid to become governor is significant and echoed by notable names in media. Even close friend Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender writer and professor at Barnard College, rejects Caitlyn’s politics, stating,
“I wish her well personally,” Boylan said via email. “But I can’t see how the conservative policies she is likely to embrace will help Californians.”
Wyatt Ronan of the national LGBTQ-rights organization – Human Rights Campaign (HRC), stated Jenner “is not the leader California needs.” Ronan makes it clear that it is immensely problematic for Caitlyn to align her campaign with Trump,
“Her support of Donald Trump, the most virulent and vocal anti-LGBTQ president in American history, and her decision to hire Trump’s inner circle for her campaign are just two examples of why,” he said.
And perhaps the shadiest but most accurate assessment of Caityln’s abysmal gubernatorial campaign comes from David Badash, editor of the LGBTQ-opinion site the New Civil Rights Movement.
In assessing Caitlyn’s campaign website, Badash simply points out there is no there, there. The site offers “no policy positions, and offered two options to those visiting the site: “Shop” and “Donate.”
Yes, I’m inclined to agree with Badash. I think the job of governing over the third largest state in the country will require a little more substance than “Shop & Donate” —especially when it’s unclear for what people would be actually donating.
I don’t even live in California but if I did, Caitlyn Jenner for governor — That’s a no for me.
This post is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.