Caitlyn Jenner, a formerly outspoken Republican who supported the GOP at the Republican Convention in 2016, is officially backtracking on her support for Donald Trump. On Thursday, the former Olympian wrote an op-ed titled “Caitlyn Jenner: I thought Trump would help trans people. I was wrong,” for The Washington Post, revealing her dissatisfaction with the president she once very openly supported, even to the chagrin of her family and some of her friends in the LGBTQ community.
During the 2016 presidential election, Jenner claimed that her support of Donald Trump and the Republican Party was wrapped up in Trump’s claims to support the LGBTQ community. In recent months, she has remained rather silent about her politics, but with her op-ed she joins the recent group of celebrities breaking their silence on the administration’s policies ahead of the midterm elections on November 6.
“I believed I could work within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting. I made many trips to Washington to lobby and educate members of Congress, other Washington policymakers and powerful influencers,” Jenner wrote in her op-ed. “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,” she continued.
But after it was reported that President Trump’s administration plans to degrade the transgender community by constructing legislation that defines “gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth,” and in turn unraveling any protection transgender people may have once had under federal civil rights law, a slew of celebrities and public figures—many of whom are transgender, but not all—expressed their outrage at the possible revoking of civil rights for trans people in the United States. This appears to have marked a turning point for Jenner, who wrote, “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 has written that “believing that I could work with Trump and his administration to support our community was a mistake.” She also expressed that she feels “these policies have come directly from Trump, and they have been sanctioned, passively or actively, by the Republicans by whose continued support he governs,” and that she “must learn from my mistakes and move forward.” Such was the purpose of her short lived E! series, I Am Cait, which was met with criticism by the LGBTQ community at the time of its release.
Though she made no mention of her family’s political leanings—or her son-in-law’s misguided and loud support of Trump—part of Jenner’s plan to use her privilege as a respected public figure who also happens to be part of the LGBTQ community includes a strategy to “educate political and corporate leaders about the issues of homelessness, job discrimination, violence, access to health care, prejudice in housing, depression, suicide and so many other issues that disproportionately affect our long-ignored community.”