Identity

Caitlyn Jenner Is Trying to Change the Republican Party from Within

In a rare interview, Jenner tells Broadly, "Republicans need the most work when it comes to our issues, I get that."
May 22, 2018, 7:55pm
Photo by Luke Gilford

In 2015, Caitlyn Jenner ignited an international conversation about gender when she publicly came out as trans. The following year, after she endorsed Trump, her politics and outspokenness began to cost her the support of the trans community. Since then, Jenner has denounced Trump for working directly against LGBTQ people, though she continues to support the Republican party.

In an exclusive interview with Broadly, Jenner shared her thoughts on Trump and being a prominent trans Republican. "I want him to know politically I am disappointed, obviously," she said. "I don’t want our community to go backwards. Just leave us alone, that’s all we want. Then maybe later down the line, we can get somebody a little better."

"The Republicans need the most work when it comes to our issues, I get that."

Jenner also shared her opinion that her position as a Republican is actually good for the trans community because it allows her to effect change from within the party. This comes at a time when the Trump administration has banned trans people from military service, put trans inmates at greater risk of abuse, and threatened access to trans healthcare. "I think it’s good that I’m on the Republican side because the Republicans know that, and I have an immediate in with them to change their minds," she told Broadly. "The Republicans need the most work when it comes to our issues, I get that. I would rather work from the inside. I’m not the type of person who is going to stand on a street corner with a sign and jump up and down. No, I’m going to go have dinner with these people."

Jenner said she’s taken meetings with conservative lawmakers and government officials like Betsy DeVos and Nikki Haley, and that notorious LGBTQ-opponent Mike Pence even agreed to meet with her—though that meeting has yet to materialize. Despite Jenner's efforts to change the party from within, however, the Trump administration continues to move forward with harmful anti-LGBT policy.

For more on Jenner’s politics and her relationship with both herself and her family, read the full interview here.