On Tuesday, American reality star Caitlyn Jenner reiterated her support for the Republican Party at an event in Cleveland. During the Q&A session organised by American Unity Fund, a conservative LGBT activist group, Jenner said: “It was easy to come out as trans. It was harder to come out as Republican.”
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) 20 July 2016
Jenner’s endorsement comes despite anti-LGBT amendments made last week to the draft Republican manifesto. The Republican Party is also credited with a wave of proposed bills across the US that would ban transgender people from using toilet facilities for the gender with which they identify; such legislation passed in North Carolina.
“I get it, the Democratic Party does a better job when it comes to the LGBT community, and Obama has been very good from that standpoint,” Jenner said.
“Our best hope to get back to a constitutional government…is in the Republican Party.”
Earlier in the nomination process, Jenner had said that she would like to serve as a “trans ambassador” in a Ted Cruz administration. The idea came after the reality star uploaded a video of her using a women’s restroom in Trump Tower.
“Thank you Donald. I really appreciate it,” said Jenner. “And by the way Ted, nobody got molested.”
Cruz, however, fired back at the remark.
“Frankly, the concern is not the Caitlyn Jenners of the world. But if the law is such that any man if he feels like it can go in a women’s restroom and you can’t ask him to leave, that opens the door for predators.”
On Tuesday night, another former Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, labelled the transgender community, “the height of absurdity”. He compared being transgender to one day deciding to change race.
Jenner’s remarks have been welcomed by socially liberal Republicans. However, others have already voiced their opposition, pointing to the anti-transgender sentiment that is rife in the party:
True, but Caitlyn Jenner is standing on the shoulders of activists, LGBTQ blood & sweat and Democratic actions. https://t.co/WdG9KIXQAf
— Jillian Hurley (@BeautyBind) 21 July 2016
You had a great opportunity @caitlyn_jenner to help so many in the LGBT community and you have betrayed us.
— Jacob Gardner (@ThatBoyJacob) 20 July 2016
Jenner has often been criticised for being “out of touch” with the issues faced by transgender people; a criticism initiated by her appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine last year.
The Republican Convention concluded with Trump accepting the presidential candidacy on Thursday evening.