Transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner has blasted the Trump administration for “relentlessly attacking” the trans community and said she was “wrong” about President Donald Trump’s commitment to LGBTIQ rights.
“Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to claim to support this valuable, vulnerable community, and I was encouraged by the applause he received when he said at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 that he would stand up for the LGBTQ community,” Jenner wrote in The Washington Post.
“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 Trump administration has been criticised for a recently leaked memo from the Department of Health and Human Services memo revealing a plan to restrict the legal definition of gender as immutable and based on a person’s genitalia at birth.
Such a move would effectively legally erase both transgender people and intersex people.
Jenner said the memo was yet another example of a pattern of attacks against the LGBTQ community.
“He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity,” she said.
“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.
“This is politics at its worst. It is unacceptable, it is upsetting, and it has deeply, personally hurt me.”
Politicians and celebrities alike have blasted the memo proposal, which will affect at least 1.4 million people in the US who currently identify as transgender.
Many began using the Twitter hashtag “#WontBeErased” in their condemnation of the leaked memo, and activists announced rallies and protests to voice their opposition to the change.
In the op-ed, Jenner also slammed President Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the military and his administration’s rollback of Obama-era guidelines for trans schoolchildren.
“My hope in him – in them – was misplaced, and I cannot support anyone who is working against our community,” she said.
“I do not support Trump. I must learn from my mistakes and move forward.”