what happens when our icons don’t share our sensibilities?

Caitlyn Jenner's support of Ted Cruz has sent Twitter into meltdown.

by Matthew Whitehouse
07 March 2016, 3:54pm

There was much hand-wringing on Twitter this weekend as reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner confirmed that she identifies as a Republican.

Jenner, who turned heads last year by revealing to Diane Sawyer that she is "more on the conservative side" of the political spectrum, has offered to act as America's "trans ambassador" if right-winger Ted Cruz wins the presidency -- causing many to question whether the former Olympian is, in fact, the ideal candidate for Most Visible Transgender Woman in the World.

"I like Ted Cruz," she said, in an interview with the Advocate. "I think he's very conservative and a great constitutionalist and a very articulate man. I haven't endorsed him or anything like that. But I also think: he's an evangelical Christian, and probably one of the worst ones when it comes to trans issues."

Well, quite. Cruz -- who opposes LGBTQ issues such as same-sex marriage and non-discrimination laws -- last year described the Obama administration's support of young trans students as "lunacy," claiming, "I don't want my daughters taking showers with little boys."

Jenner, however, has the answer: "Wouldn't it be great, let's say he goes on to be president. And I have all my girls on a trans issues board to advise him on making decisions when it comes to trans issues. Isn't that a good idea?"

If Twitter is anything to go by: no, no it isn't. "Caitlyn Jenner, I've officially lost ALL respect for you," said one aggrieved user. "I was all for Team Caitlyn," said another. One even went so far as to tweet "just removed #IAmCait from my DVR" -- an act tantamount to fully-fledged, statue toppling iconoclasm in the world of online indignation.

There has clearly been some sort of mixup. Jenner was supposed to be a new kind of 21st-century hero. A symbol of a more open-minded, tolerant, and inclusive generation. Sure, she's rich, white, and privileged -- but she wasn't meant to vote like she is. "Could it be that we included the wrong person?" pondered many, forlornly.

When asked by Sawyer last year if she was Republican, Jenner replied: "Yeah. Is that a bad thing? I believe in the constitution." Not necessarily, no. But judging by this weekend, it just depends on which reading of the Constitution that is. 


Text Matthew Whitehouse
Image via @caitlynjenner

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