Op-Ed, Opinion

Op-Ed: I’m confused, Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner has joined Fox News as a contributor following International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31. The Olympic gold medalist, who identifies as a Republican, made it alarmingly clear that though she is transgender, she is not a transgender activist. 

I think most people know about Jenner’s contradictory take on the LGBTQ+ community, so naturally when Jenner joined Fox News as a commentator — commenting on LGBTQ+ issues — her opinions were viewed as a stab in the back to the community.

An integral element that should be noted is that Jenner, because she is transgender, shouldn’t have to represent the entirety of the trangender community. One famous trans person shouldn’t have to be a symbol for millions because that one person’s experience is as nuanced and unique as the next trans person. This concept equates to one woman representing that gender as a whole. It’s unfair. Jenner’s story is her own, and trans stories shouldn’t have to be limited to celebrities who have advantages — financially, racially and privilege wise. 

All of this is true, but Jenner, being that she publicly expresses her opinions and has willingly chosen to speak on Fox News in conversation with Sean Hannity — a man who has called AIDS “a gay disease” and compared homosexual sex to “playing in a sewer,” — has the right to be criticized for her perspectives.

During a three minute spot on “Hannity,” Jenner and Hannity briefly spoke about Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law. Hannity said the bill allows Floridian educators to focus on the core subjects in school as opposed to the “woke” agenda and a progessive way of thinking. Jenner responded by saying, “I’m a common sense person, and that’s what you call common sense.”

Connie Dai / DFP Staff

Ms. Jenner — you’re telling me that when you were a child, thinking that “there was always this woman [living] inside of [you],” you wouldn’t have wanted a modicum of information regarding the transgender community? Reassuring you that those confusing thoughts are okay and not insane? Comforting you when maybe your family would disapprove? I’m sorry, but if your answer is otherwise then I do not believe you.

What’s ironic is that though Jenner is technically within the LGBTQ+ community — the community she is so desperately trying to join  — the heavily conservative side of Fox News won’t wholeheartedly accept her. 

Elijah Schaffer, host of Blaze TV, a conservative media outlet, said that he was “embarrassed for [his] friends at Fox News,” concerning their decision to hire Jenner. Former Fox News radio host, Todd Starnes, whose contract never got renewed after a guest accused Democrats of worshiping a pagan god compatible with child sacrifice, said that Jenner being hired is about “the Almighty Dollar. No surprise that Fox would hire a transgender activist … so someone ran the numbers and decided this was a good financial investment.”

Ms. Jenner — this brotherhood of conservative “patriotism,” and red, white and blue blood, are not interested in being buddy-buddy with you. As a Republican trans woman don’t you want some inclusivity? This platform that you have involved yourself in will not provide that for you — they will not perceive you the way you want to be perceived. I understand your need to underscore that being transgender is just “one part” of your life, but those you are associating yourself with do not see you that way. To them you will always be Bruce Jenner who plays dress up. That is the very unfortunate truth.

In recent years, Republican states have consistently passed bills banning young trans people from receiving gender-affirming care and from participating in organized sports at school. These heinous acts are actions taken to prevent people like Jenner from living a normal life. If Jenner was in her youth today, transitioning to a woman, she would have been prevented from participating in decathlon events — something she won an Olympic gold medal for — in her true form. 

Caitlyn Jenner — stop being a hypocrite. 

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