Metro Weekly

Caitlyn Jenner Says Transgender Women Aren’t Women

Reality TV star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner asserts that she identifies as a "trans person," not a woman.

Caitlyn Jenner – Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Web Summit, via Sportsfile

Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner sought to distinguish herself from the rest of the transgender community in a recent interview with John Cleese on his show The Dinosaur Hour, lamenting about how her politics are different from those of many other trans individuals.

“I just think the woke movement has just gone too far,” Jenner, a registered Republican who unsuccessfully ran for governor of California, said to the one-time member of Monty Python. “I can be fair and not be woke. I can be a caring person and not be woke. You know, I care about people, that’s why I do what I do.”

Jenner frequently sought to distinguish her more conservative worldview with the more liberal worldview adopted by many within the transgender community.

“I get a lot of flak from mostly trans people who don’t like that I’m a Republican,” she said. “I support President Trump.”

Jenner explained to Cleese about her coming out process, noting she had initially hoped that by coming out, she’d be able to serve as an example for other transgender individuals and prevent them from contemplating suicide.

She noted that she understood she wouldn’t be able to transition privately, primarily due to her celebrity status and the press that her children — members of the Kardashian and Jenner families — frequently attract.

“Obviously, I couldn’t do it privately,” she said. “I was already a big-time celebrity. I was known all over the world. I thought about, ‘Why don’t I just move to Alaska, to the backwoods, and live in a place — but I’d have to leave all my children… I couldn’t do it that way. So if I do it, I’d just have to try to do it right, and do it with respect, and do it in a dignified way, not only for myself and my family, but trans people in general.”

Jenner lamented the criticism she’s received from the trans community for her conservative beliefs, noting that she’s never had an issue with being accepted or having to fight over which bathroom she uses. 

“I’ve never had a problem in general,” she told Cleese, who is known for holding anti-transgender views. “You know there’s the whole bathroom thing, and I have not been in a men’s room in eight years.”

Jenner sought to distinguish the actions of regular transgender people from those of trans activists, accusing the latter group of trying to increase their name recognition, achieve celebrity status, or get clicks or likes on social media.

She brought up anti-transgender activist Riley Gaines, the University of Kentucky swimmer who tied for fifth place with transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving Championships. 

Jenner said Gaines has faced hostile protesters as she tours college campuses and speaks in opposition to allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports. But Jenner also mocked the protesters, accusing them of “making fools of themselves.” She asserted that the more radical transgender activists’ actions and words cast the overall trans community in a poor light. 

“I see these [activists yelling], ‘trans women are real women.’ No, you’re not,” she said, noting that she’s had the gender marker on her birth certificate, vital documents, and driver’s and pilot’s licenses all changed to reflect her female gender identity. “I live my life as a woman, but I’m not — I don’t consider myself this, ‘I am a woman now!’ and on and on. No, I consider myself a trans person.”

Despite her statement that she mostly catches “flak” from the trans community and people on the Left, there are plenty on the Right who have used Jenner as a political punching bag, subjected her to homophobic or transphobic abuse, or spoken of her disparagingly.

She previously lamented, following her failed campaign for governor, that many Republican leaders didn’t want to be seen in public with her. 

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!