Caitlyn Jenner Cozying up to Right Wing: Accused of Throwing Trans Community under the Bus

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Caitlyn Jenner — Image courtesy of Fox News Channel via AP
Caitlyn Jenner — Image courtesy of Fox News Channel via AP

Caitlyn Jenner, now a candidate for governor of California, appears to be cozying up to right-wing Republicans, perhaps at the expense of California's Transgender community.

On May 4, Fox News announced that Jenner will be the featured guest in an interview with right-wing agitator and Trump fan Sean Hannity. It will be Jenner's first major TV appearance since announcing her candidacy.

According to the network, the event is closed to the media and general public, but some Republican donors in California have been getting personal invitations to the interview.

The Hannity interview will not be Jenner's first TV appearance, however. In an off-the-cuff interview with Disclose.TV, Jenner made news — and elicited substantial controversy — by stating that Trans girls should not be allowed to compete in girls' sports at school.

"This is a question of fairness," Jenner said. "That's why I oppose biological boys who are Trans competing in girls' sports in school. It just isn't fair. And we have to protect girls' sports in our schools."

Jenner's statement provoked an immediate storm of protest on Twitter, including this from her old TV co-star Trace Lysette: "Cait... this ain't it. When you're on hormones and or blockers, there is not an advantage. I ran track at the club level with college girls, and trust me, there is no advantage. I would have went pro if I was able to run the times I ran before hormones, etc."

"This you, Caitlyn?" asked Gay Democratic New York congressional candidate Chris Sosa. Sosa also included a headline announcement of Jenner competing in a women's golf tournament.

Why? Teaming up with Sean Hannity and coming out against full participation for Trans kids in school sports seems like a turnabout for Jenner, who has always advertised herself as a "fiscal conservative and social liberal."

So why do these things? Apparently Jenner is repackaging herself — or allowing herself to be repackaged — to stake out a niche in the gubernatorial race.

Defining herself

Incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom is the target of a recall petition. If it qualifies for the ballot, California voters will be asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled? And if so, who should succeed him as governor?

California may end up with hundreds of candidates on the ballot. In 2003, when Gov. Gray Davis was recalled, there were 135 candidates to succeed him. Candidates with name recognition and an established base of supporters would have a huge advantage.

"The fact is, with this many candidates out there, it could be 20% or 25% of the vote that actually is the deciding factor" to beat Newsom, Republican strategist Tim Rosales explained. "She has to define herself within some kind of base — and I think this is her opportunity to do that."

Rosales said Jenner's sit-down with Hannity hands her an opportunity to reach a loyal GOP audience with her message for the first time.