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Caitlyn Jenner: I was 'furious' at Donald Trump for reversing Obama's LGBT rights guidelines

The trans rights activist and TV star speaks to The Independent at the British LGBT Awards

Josh Withey
Friday 12 May 2017 23:20 BST
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Caitlyn Jenner: I was furious at Donald Trump

Reality TV star and trans rights activist Caitlyn Jenner has attacked Donald Trump's record on LGBT protections after picking up the Loud and Proud Award at this year's British LGBT Awards.

The retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete flew in to London this week to attend the ceremony alongside fellow winners Clare Balding, Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley.

Speaking to The Independent shortly before the ceremony, Jenner discussed the current state of LGBT rights in the United States, commenting that she was "furious" at the US President's decision to remove guidelines to protect trans students.

The rules, introduced by President Barack Obama's administration, instructed public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity.

"The bathroom issue in the United States is kinda out of control when it's not even an issue," explained Jenner.

"There's no trans people going in and causing any problems. Actually, we've had four Republicans, state representatives, who have been arrested in bathrooms for lewd behaviour. Maybe we should ban the Republicans you know?"

Jenner, a Republican, and believer in 'small government', supported Donald Trump during his 2016 campaign. She attended the Republican National Convention and has said she has spoken to Mr Trump on LGBT issues.

"We can work these things out, it's going to take some time," Jenner told The Independent. "Most, if not all of it, is misunderstanding. Just not knowing the issue, not knowing this community. We need to change those.

"When Obama was there he had taken Title 9, which is equality in schools for all students, and expanded it towards the LGBT community, particularly trans people. And it was good that we had the government on a federal level set some guidelines. And then Trump...backed off on that one.

"I was furious, 'How can you do this?' I was very vocal about it."

With LGBT rights seemingly on shaky ground in the US once again, Jenner said she was prepared to use her political contacts to improve the situation.

"Because I come from the Republican party, which a good thing, I do have open communication," Jenner explained.

"I talked to Senators and Congressmen back in Washington last week, but I do almost everything behind closed doors. I just feel like I can get more accomplished that way.

"I guarantee you, 90 per cent of them [Senators and Congressmen] haven't met someone who's trans. They're [the trans community] not these crazy far out people living on the edge, running into bathrooms and causing problems, we're a great community."

Jenner is arguably the most famous trans woman in the world, thanks in part to her exceedingly famous family, history of sporting success, and her historic Vanity Fair cover; which was the moment she introduced herself to the world as Caitlyn.

Asked if the global platform, or her political influence, felt like too much pressure, she said: "The pressure doesn't get to me.

"I won the Games, that's the greatest pressure I'll ever be in. For me, I don't really care about the pressure. It's tough because they misrepresent me as the spokesperson for the trans community.

"Yes, I am out front. I get that. Yes, I'm trying to make a difference. But the only person that I'm a spokesperson for is my own story. And that's all I can share with people. Because it's the only one I know. And I know it very well."

Caitlyn Jenner takes on Trump over transgender issue

Jenner has been living as an out trans woman for almost two years, and life has "become easier" thanks to that openness, she said.

"It's so easy to wake up in the morning and just be yourself. I mean, how easy is that? I don't have two roles, I don't have to do all that other stuff, that I've been through. After years and years of struggling."

Jenner conceded that although she was happy and comfortable with herself at the time of publicly coming out, she "didn't really know or understand this [trans] community" very well.

"I'd never met anyone who was trans. So the past two years have really been a learning process. About the issues that we have in our community, we certainly have a lot of them in the United States. I've got better [at the learning process], made a few mistakes, but I've got better at it."

"I just try to do my best," she concluded. "I've learnt a lot about the community and I just try to get better at it. And represent it the best I possibly can."

The full list of winners from the British LGBT Awards can be read here, and learn more about the event on their website.

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