Caitlyn Jenner plans to vote for oppressionBottom Highlights, Trans Progressive Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
Commentary: Trans Progressive
In the past, a transgender voter interested in ordinary equality and civil rights for transgender people could have found reasons to vote against a Democrat and for a Republican.
Such as in 2002, when then Assemblymember Judy Chu introduced AB 2651, the Nondiscrimination in Foster Care bill, in the California State Assembly. AB 2651 would’ve provided explicit protections of the rights of youth in foster care, including LGBT youth. The religious right labeled the bill the “Transsexual Foster Care Bill,” and vigorously campaigned against it. When the bill got to his desk, Gov. Gray Davis (D-CA) vetoed it. Then California Assemblymember John Perez (D-Los Angeles) told Californians at the 2009 EQCA awards dinner that the reason the bill was vetoed was because now Rep. Chu wouldn’t remove transgender youth from that LGBT inclusive bill. Gov. Davis would have signed the bill if it had protected only lesbian, gay and bisexual youth.
On the other hand, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) signed the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act (AB 1160) in 2006. AB 1160 sought to curtail the use of panic strategies widely used in criminal cases involving bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
I voted against Gray Davis; I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Caitlyn Jenner is arguably the most famous transgender woman in the U.S. and has identified herself as a Republican. She represents the transgender community to the general public whether the transgender community likes it or not, and I’m seeing in social media where a lot of the transgender community is falling into the “or not” side of the divide in significant part because of Jenner’s public politics.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Jenner asked for a ticket to the Nov. 14 Democratic primary debate. There were no tickets available, but she did report to the Times that she did watch the debate with students on the Drake University campus. Quoting the Times after viewing the Democratic debate, “[Jenner] said she still planned to vote Republican. ‘They didn’t convince me,’ she said.”
Frankly, I’m not sure what Democrats running for president are supposed to convince Jenner of, but I know how Republicans should have impressed her to vote against them. With regards to transgender Americans, the first and second tier Republican presidential candidates have spoken in terms of disrespect and/or of oppressing her and her transgender peers.
In the first tier, Jenner should be familiar with what Trump said about her personally: he referred to Jenner by her former first name after she announced her new name preference, and used the wrong pronouns to refer to her.
The other top tier candidate is far worse. Dr. Ben Carson has proposed separate-but-equal transgender bathroom use, saying “How about we have a transgender bathroom?” and “It is not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable.”
In the second tier, Sen. Marco Rubio in 2013 came out against the Employment Nondiscrimination Act as a “special rights” bill for LGBT Americans. That’s opposed to it being an equal rights bill.
And Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking in Iowa about transgender service members serving openly stated, “How about having the military focusing on hunting down and killing the bad guys … instead of treating it as this crucible for social justice innovations.” And, “We shouldn’t view the military as a cauldron for social experiments.”
Jenner isn’t convinced by Democrats to vote for them, but Jenner should be convinced by Republicans to vote against them.
In 2016 presidential politics, a vote for a Republican looks to be a vote for transgender community oppression. And as of this moment, Caitlyn Jenner is planning to vote for just that sort of oppression.
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