Caitlyn Jenner coming out as transgender in 2015 didn’t change her party affiliation as a Republican. She was vocally supportive of both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump through last year’s campaign, and even reportedly tried to convince her stepdaughter Kim Kardashian to vote for Trump over Hillary Clinton.
But the Trump administration’s move to overturn an Obama-era directive urging schools to ensure bathroom and locker room access to transgender students in schools was a bridge too far for Jenner.
In a video statement she posted on Twitter on February 23, Jenner told transgender kids that they “are winning,” and that the “bullies” trying to put them down are “sick” and “weak.” She went on to shout out the lawsuit of transgender teen Gavin Grimm — who will be taking his case to use the boys’ bathroom to the Supreme Court in March — and called out one member of the Trump administration specifically.
“Apparently,” Jenner continued, “even becoming attorney general isn’t enough to cure some people of their insecurities.”
Finally, Jenner addressed the president himself, “from one Republican to another.”
“This is a disaster,” she said. “You can still fix it. You promised to protect the LGTBQ community. Call me.”
It’s true that Trump made promises. After the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June, Trump said on the campaign trail that the targeting of LGBTQ people was “no good” and “we’re going to stop it.” In July, he became the first Republican nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his speech at the Republican National Convention, even if briefly.
And on the issue of North Carolina barring transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, Trump said last April on the Today show that the state was having a “lot of problems” and that people should just “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate.” When Matt Lauer followed up by asking if that meant Trump would be fine with Caitlyn Jenner walking into Trump Tower and using the women’s bathroom, Trump confirmed that was “correct.” Jenner, for her part, seems to have taken Trump at his word, saying last year that Trump “seems very behind the LGBT community.”
Now, as my colleague German Lopez put it, Trump has proved that his support for the LGBTQ community only goes as far as it will be helpful to him, punting crucial transgender protections as a states’ rights issue. But given the notoriously anti-LGBTQ politicians Trump has surrounded himself with, from Vice President Mike Pence to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it’s not exactly surprising — a fact many Twitter users were quick to point out to Jenner.