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Jenner was hopeful that Trump would be an LGBTQ ally when she voted for him in 2016.

By Emily Caron
October 25, 2018

Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post on President Donald Trump's "attacks" on LGBTQ rights. She called her decision to vote for Trump in the 2016 election "a mistake." Jenner initially hoped that she could work with his administration to support the LGBTQ community.

Jenner was public about her decision to vote for Trump in the 2016 election. She called on others within the LGBTQ community to support him as well. Trump's run for presidency began in 2015, which is the same year that Jenner, formerly Bruce, came out as a trans woman.

Despite initially standing by her choice to vote for Trump, Jenner's op-ed revealed a change in her stance.

"I believed I could work within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting," she continued. "I made many trips to Washington to lobby and educate members of Congress, other Washington policymakers and powerful influencers. These meetings were generally positive and almost always led to encouraging conversations. Despite the criticism I received from segments of the LGBTQ community for engaging with this administration, I remained hopeful for positive change.

"Sadly, I was wrong. The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president. The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity. He has made trans people into political pawns as he whips up animus against us in an attempt to energize the most right-wing segment of his party, claiming his anti-transgender policies are meant to 'protect the country.' This is politics at its worst. It is unacceptable, it is upsetting, and it has deeply, personally hurt me." 

Jenner had initially seen ground for change within the Republican Party on LGBTQ issues in Trump's early policies. She cited recent policy stances as evidence that she was mislead. She specifically cited the leaked Department of Health and Human services memo that suggested the Trump administration is considering the adoption of a new definition of gender based on one's genitalia at birth. The proposed policy is widely believed to be an attack on the transgender community.

"It’s clear these policies have come directly from Trump, and they have been sanctioned, passively or actively, by the Republicans by whose continued support he governs," she wrote. "My hope in him — in them — was misplaced, and I cannot support anyone who is working against our community. I do not support Trump. I must learn from my mistakes and move forward."

The former decathlete concluded by saying that she will continue to fight for the rights of underrepresented and marginalized communities and is more determined than ever in light of her mistake.

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