Despite her affiliation with fiscally conservative policies and practices, I believe Caitlyn Jenner demonstrated tremendous resiliency, conviction, compassion and loyalty to helping transgendered individuals. Perhaps in the show, I AM CAIT, we viewers were exposed to a softer and gentler side of Caitlyn, but that does not minimize the efforts she made to visit and hear personal stories from transgendered children, youth and adults on national television. The platform that she gave to this stigmatized population of the LGBTQ population is inconceivably the most recognition that trans people have ever garnered in US history. But the question that I ask, should we in the LGBTQ community embrace this platform in which she continues to represent conservative policies?
In my prior blog, I jumped on the bandwagon to discredit Caitlyn since a surge of social media was released indicating that her privilege allowed an expedited and successful transformation; then, I took it upon myself to compare Caitlyn's story to other trans individuals who have endured tumultuous transitions due to socioeconomic status. I also compared Caitlyn's privilege to the historical trend of white, gay men, who hold the torch within LGBTQ organizations, and they tend toward conservative politics as well.
The radical left of LGBTQ community do not want extend an olive branch to the privileged 1 percent of our population because it consequently leads to more voices going unheard. I agree with them and here's why: When people deceive us with their socially liberal talk and mismatched fiscally conservative practices this appears as unadulterated stupidity. How you behave among others is informed by what you believe and think--the two cannot be divorced from each other. It may be the case that Caitlyn is an advocate for trans individuals, but most of her community is lacking economic privilege. Does this imply Caitlyn will develop a paradigm shift in which both her socially liberal side will cohere with her fiscally conservative side?
On a recent episode of Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres questioned Caitlyn about her acceptance of gay marriage, and it felt awfully uncomfortable to watch the happy-go-lucky Ellen transition to interrogating Caitlyn. It was apparent that Caitlyn did not condone or accept that gays should have the right to marriage equality. The answer delivered by Caitlyn of "not getting in the way of people's happiness," is not the same as "I agree gay marriage is an issue of equality." That was striking to me on so many levels because we are supposed to welcome Caitlyn, but she will not come to terms with her prejudices toward gay marriage. Ellen DeGeneres made it explicitly known on Howard Stern's radio show that this didn't make sense to her. I interpreted Ellen's words closely and assumed Caitlyn is not even comfortable being around lesbians. Not only did Ellen find Caitlyn's politics misaligned with the LGBTQ community, so did Jennifer Finney Boylan on I AM CAIT. Jenny could understand the disconnect and hypocrisy.
Whether or not we in the LGBTQ community agree with Caitlyn Jenner's absurd Republican politics, she made it a point to give trans people visibility through the show. Maybe those decisions were made by the producers of E! who casts key members like Candis Cayne, Chandi Moore, trans advocates, trans youth; however, Caitlyn Jenner had the autonomy to engage these individuals on national television. So for this acknowledgement and visibility, she deserves praise and congratulations for the efforts she has made. I hope through her journey she evolves as a person who understands the detrimental effects of conservative politics on the LGBTQ community.