Caitlyn Jenner is facing backlash for her views on transgender athletics, namely that transgender girls should not be allowed to play on girls’ sports teams.
“I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run, but I’m clear about where I stand,” tweeted Caitlyn, 70, who is running for the governor of California. “It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” Caitlyn launched her campaign last month, criticizing Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom, who faces a possible recall election, for his pandemic policies.
On Saturday, Caitlyn had been stopped by a TMZ reporter who asked whether she supported recent state bills that limit transgender youth from playing on sports teams that match their gender identities. “This is a question of fairness — that’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school,” answered Caitlyn. “It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
When pressed by the reporter to elaborate, Caitlyn said, “Have a good day.”
According to the Washington Post, 34 states are considering policies that would prevent transgender girls from playing on girls teams, with bills in Tennessee, Arkansas and others already signed into law. Florida’s “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which is currently awaiting Gov. Ron DeSantis’s signature, would potentially subject transgender girls to genital inspections in cases where their biological sex is disputed.
As noted in March by the Associated Press, despite an increase in anti-transgender athletic bills “In almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems.”
Twitter came down hard on Caitlyn’s statements.
“Caitlyn Jenner is anti-trans,” tweeted Charlotte Clymer, a former spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. “She doesn’t understand the science, and she is pandering to the ignorance of anti-trans people. I have absolutely no problem saying Caitlyn Jenner supports and directly benefits from transphobia.”
“Wow. Going against your own community. That tells me everything I need to know,” someone tweeted. “And you think you’re going to get the LGBT vote,” wrote another. “As a trans woman, how can you say that? HOW???” tweeted a user.
Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, whose organization was instrumental in helping transgender activist Jazz Jennings fight her own ban from youth soccer at age 8, tells Yahoo Life that Caitlyn’s views are “utterly ridiculous.”
“It is disgusting that a public figure would lend credibility to hateful laws,” he says. “Trans girls pose no threat to women’s sports — it’s a fabricated issue for short-term political gain. And for someone who is trans herself, it’s even more baffling.”
Caitlyn is a former Olympic icon who was married to Kris Jenner for 23 years before their 2015 divorce. In 2015, she announced she was transgender in a Vanity Fairstory with a glamorous cover shot by Annie Leibovitz. Caitlyn’s famous children — daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner and step-daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian — have not made public comments about her campaign.
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