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Advocates say Jenner is 'out of touch' with LGBTQ issues — and America at large

Caitlyn Jenner, who's running for California governor, said one of her friends left the state in his private plane because he “can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless.”
Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange With Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner in conversation at Ace Hotel on May 2, 2017, in Los Angeles.Araya Doheny / Getty Images file

Caitlyn Jenner made comments during an interview on Fox News’ “Hannity” show Wednesday that some transgender people say proves she’s “out of touch” — not only on LGBTQ issues, but also with the way most Americans live.

During the interview — her first since announcing her run for California governor — Jenner, a Republican, was asked by the host Sean Hannity to grade the performance of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. In her answer, Jenner said her friends are leaving the state.

“My hangar, the guy right across, he was packing up his hangar, and I said, ‘Where are you going?,’” Jenner, a former Olympian and a reality television star, said, referring to their private plane hangars. “And he says, 'I'm moving to Sedona, Arizona. I can't take it anymore. I can't walk down the streets and see the homeless.'"

Jenner faced criticism for the comment, including from those who pointed out that transgender Americans disproportionately experience homelessness.

Citing a statistic from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, Gillian Branstetter, a longtime trans advocate and the media manager for the National Women’s Law Center, noted on Twitter that nearly one-third of trans people face homelessness at some point in their lifetimes.

She added that Jenner’s experience as a trans person is not reflective of most trans people’s lives. 

During her “Hannity” interview, Jenner also reaffirmed her opposition to trans girls playing on girls sports teams at school — a stance she first made public when a TMZ reporter questioned her Saturday. 

“I stick to the statements that I made,” she told Hannity. “We have to make sure that the integrity of girls’ sports is there. I think that’s extremely important. But there’s more to it than just what I said, because I just said ‘biological boys in sports’ — there’s more to it than that, and I think in the future I will explain more of that.”

Jenner then added that “as a trans woman, I think role models are extremely important for young people. Trans issues people struggle with big time. Our suicide rate is nine times higher than the general public. And for me to be a role model for them, to be out there — I am running for governor for the state of California. Who would’ve ever thunk that? We’ve never even had a woman governor.”

When Hannity told Jenner that some people are mad at her for her stance on trans girls playing sports, she said “I move on.” 

In response to the interview, Equality California, an LGBTQ advocacy group in the state, called Jenner “completely out of touch with California families” and said she dismissed the majority of Americans who don’t support legislation targeting trans people.

Tweeting a clip of the interview, transgender activist Charlotte Clymer called Jenner’s candidacy a “grift set up by the Republican Party.”

Some people are worried that Jenner’s comments will be used to support the increasing number of state bills seeking to ban trans girls from competing on girls sports teams at school. Seven states currently ban trans people from competing on teams that align with their gender identity — six of which passed bans in 2021. 

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