Dear Caitlyn Jenner, there is one more transition you need to makeAround the Nation, Commentary, Editorial, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
Editor’s note: The following piece by San Diego LGBT Weekly publisher Stampp Corbin was originally published on HuffPost June 6, 2015. As usual, our publisher was prescient in his assessment of Donald Trump and what was going to happen.
We have all watched with great interest the transition of Caitlyn Jenner who has finally become the person she always wanted to be and felt she was. Caitlyn has been applauded for her courage by most of America, but there is one additional transition that she should make; Caitlyn Jenner should become a Democrat.
Caitlyn in a pre-transition interview proudly declared that she is a Republican. While many in America were interested in Caitlyn’s story as a transgender American, I was more intrigued by her misalignment with the Republican Party.
Caitlyn is not alone in her political misalignment. The LGBT community is constantly assaulted by the enemy within, those who support the Republican Party even though it is fundamentally opposed to LGBT civil rights. Several weeks ago two prominent hoteliers in New York hosted Ted Cruz in their home. After many in LGBT community expressed outrage, the pair claimed they were unfamiliar with Cruz’s record against LGBT rights — what I affectionately call implausible deniability.
Now comes Caitlyn Jenner, someone who has waited all of her life to have her physical self be in alignment with her emotional and cerebral self. Yet she remains politically misaligned. How can Caitlyn support the current Republican Party? What does the Republican Party offer Caitlyn that is more important than her ability to live as her authentic self? It is not anything to do with her civil rights.
Caitlyn Jenner travels in the rarefied Hollywood air where she can get the best makeup artists, clothes and everything else to make her transition a resounding success worthy of the Vanity Fair cover. But in the end, members of her beloved Republican Party are plotting to humiliate her and other transgender Americans.
In April, while Caitlyn was declaring her truth to the world, Republican Party stalwarts, Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute and Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, were filing a petition with the California Attorney General’s office to collect signatures for a statewide ballot initiative called the Personal Privacy Protection Act. The act seeks to ensure that “a person shall use facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings.”
What that means is Caitlyn Jenner will be forced to use the men’s room when visiting her grandchildren’s grammar school, at the DMV or while speaking about transgender rights at a California college. You see, Caitlyn, Republicans don’t really want transgender Americans in their party, even you.
But it’s not only Caitlyn’s beloved Republicans in California who want to humiliate transgender people. Have you heard what some party leaders have said? Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “Now I wish that someone told me when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.’”
Caitlyn’s transition is not a joke or choice, but Huckabee voices a substantial constituency within the Republican Party. Conservative talk show host, and rabid Republican, Rush Limbaugh said the party should reject Caitlyn, adding “These [transgender] people have a very serious problem, and they need treatment. They need help, not encouragement.”
Sure there has been some tepid acceptance in the Republican Party, albeit clumsily, by Rick Santorum, Scott Walker and Lindsey Graham, but we all know where the Republican Party stands with respect to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and it is not with Caitlyn Jenner.
Since Caitlyn has given the Republican Party cover with her declaration of love for the party, I hope she reconsiders when she thinks of the transgender youth who are being bullied to suicide. Or the transgender women who have been brutally murdered in the last year. Caitlyn is not helping transgender people live authentically by supporting the Republican Party. You know that, I know that and surely she knows it too. Caitlyn, please make one more heartfelt transition: Become a Democrat, tell the world and be in full alignment. Your second transition may be just as important as your first.
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