After Caitlyn Jenner transitioned, the LGBTQ community was outraged when she said she would continue voting for Republicans and threw her support behind Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.
As the Trump presidency has worn on, Jenner’s enthusiasm for the administration has waned. She’s blasted the president’s attacks on trans people during a speech to the UK parliament and apologized for wearing a MAGA hat.
Now, she’s finally admitting that she was wrong to support Trump. She’s recognized that she was duped by his empty campaign promises.
“Believing that I could work with Trump and his administration to support our community was a mistake,” she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
“Following Trump’s election as president, I saw fertile ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community, and I was encouraged by the applause he received when he said at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 that he would stand up for the LGBTQ community,” Jenner wrote.
“Poll after poll showed that Americans’ views on LGBTQ issues were changing for the better — and that this groundswell extended even to the voter base of the Republican Party. I was optimistic that this was how I could leverage my privilege for change.”
Still, while she has decried the administration’s attacks on the trans community repeatedly, Jenner hasn’t changed her party affiliation and earlier this year said she’s had several meetings with prominent Republicans to try to advance the cause.
“I believed I could work within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting,” Jenner wrote. “These meetings were generally positive and almost always led to encouraging conversations. Despite the criticism I received from segments of the LGBTQ community for engaging with this administration, I remained hopeful for positive change.”
“Sadly, I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president. The leader of our nation 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” she said.
“This is politics at its worst.”
While Jenner was sincere in her regret and admits her naivety, many activists and social media users weren’t satisfied. The most well-known trans woman (and also the most loathed) never wrote the words, “I’m sorry” and activists are howling that admitting she was deceived doesn’t excuse her pervious support.
Jenner may have been the victim of duplicitous politicians who exploited her cluelessness, but in some activists’ eyes, she’s still the villain instead of the victim. Being “woke” means being unforgiving apparently.
Instead of joining with Jenner and welcoming her condemnation as a former supporter, most activists turned against her using language that would best be targeted at the actual problem – Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
But as one prominent trans activist once said, “Hurt people hurt people” – and under the Trump administration, transgender people are the segment of the LGBTQ movement that have been hurt the most.
Still, she’s rich and white and frequently clueless about the lives of average transgender people. That doesn’t make her a horrible person; it makes her a typical Republican.
She’s said stupid things in public and offered her opinion on topics she doesn’t know anything about. She’s hidden parts of her life from public view and used social media to promote herself in a positive light. That doesn’t make her worthy of derision; it makes her a typical American.
.@Caitlyn_Jenner is a part of the 53% of white women that voted for Trump because you decided what… that racism and xenophobia wasn’t a big deal?!? Now he’s coming for you and now you’re worried?!? YOU ARE THE DAMN PROBLEM. #WokeAF https://t.co/qRYQufSZUH
— DanielleMoodie-Mills (@DeeTwoCents) October 23, 2018
The most important part of an apology is not just admitting you’re wrong, but also doing something to make it right.
Here’s a Democratic pac that you can support to help flip Congress Blue.
— Ryan Knight #ImpeachTrump 🍑 (@ProudResister) October 26, 2018
I appreciate that Caitlyn Jenner can now admit she was wrong about Trump. However, maybe she should have listened to those of us who have known him for decades when we all say the same thing. https://t.co/T17GkqxLAb
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) October 25, 2018
No, Donald Trump didn’t use transgender people as pawns — he used you as a pawn, @Caitlyn_Jenner.
77% of people who identified as LGBTQ voted against Trump.
YOU were used because you decided your whiteness was your most important thing to protect. https://t.co/5imC1Znzjb
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) October 25, 2018
First he came for the Blacks
and I did not speak out
because I was not Black
Then he came for the Mexicans
and I did not speak out
because I was not Mexican
Then he came for the Muslims
I did not speak out
because I was not Muslim
Then he came for me.https://t.co/0UW7StUIkR
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) October 25, 2018