In an essay published Thursday, Caitlyn
Jenner, among the world's most well known transgender people, said
that working with President Donald Trump to support the transgender
community “was a mistake.”
During the 2016 election, Jenner, a
Republican, said that while Democrats are better at transgender
rights, she planned to work from within the party on the issue.
In several interviews, Jenner discussed
meeting with members of Congress on transgender issues, though she
provided few specific details.
Her ongoing campaign to change hearts
and minds among conservatives was widely panned by the community.
On Thursday, Jenner, 68, conceded
defeat, saying that she was “wrong” and needed to learn from her
“I believed I could work within the
party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who
most needed shifting,” Jenner
wrote. “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. 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, 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.”
Jenner's mea culpa comes just
days after The New York Times reported on a leaked memo
calling on federal agencies to adopt a biological definition of
gender which would exclude transgender people in civil rights law.
proposed rule change would “define transgender out of existence.”)
“Believing that I could work with
Trump and his administration to support our community was a mistake.
The recently leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo that
suggests – preposterously and unscientifically – that the
government ought to link gender to one’s genitalia at birth is just
one more example in a pattern of political attacks. One doesn’t
need to look back far to witness the president assault our nation’s
guardians with a ban on trans people serving in the military or
assail our nation’s future with a rollback of Obama-era protections
for trans schoolchildren.”
“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.
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 added.