Tonight, in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Jenner doubled down on her incredibly irresponsible and damaging remarks on trans children in sports.
Because Jenner is arguably the most famous openly-trans woman in the world and an Olympic champion, viewers and readers of media who are unfamiliar with trans identities and trans health care may be led to believe she's simply telling a hard truth and informing the public.
She is not. She is blatantly lying to pander to conservative voters in her state. Her opinion is completely at odds with reality.
It's important to highlight key facts on this issue:
1. The AP's David Crary and Lindsay Whitehurst reached out to ALL the sponsoring Republican lawmakers of bills in more than 20 states (at the time) to ban trans kids from sports. They asked these lawmakers a simple question: could they point to a single example where this is a problem in their states? In almost every instance, they could not. The few who provided an example pointed to a pending lawsuit out of Connecticut, in which the families of three cisgender girls have sued the state over trans girls participating in track and field events. Unsurprisingly, the Justice Department has withdrawn the previous administration's support for the case because it lacks merit.
2. By the way, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice was asked directly by MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle if he could point to one example in his state where trans children participating in sports had been a problem. He could not.
3. In the eight days after that Connecticut case was filed, one of the cis girls defeated the faster of the two trans girls. Twice. The cis girl received an athletic scholarship to William & Mary, which I'm sure was well deserved. The two trans girls did not receive an athletic scholarship anywhere.
4. Of course, that's unsurprising. In the ten years (yes, ten years) that the NCAA has permitted trans young people to compete openly on teams that align with their gender identity, there is no record of a young trans woman receiving a college athletic scholarship at any level of NCAA sports. Not one. In ten years. If a talented journalist can find one, I would love to see it.
5. To put that in perspective, almost 85,000 young women were on a college athletic scholarship last school year. Again, there is no record of any of them being openly-transgender. The NCAA's policy was reached after extensive consultation with medical experts, and again, for 10 years, the much warned "takeover of women's sports" has yet to yield even one trans woman receiving an athletic scholarship.
6. Last month, in the midst of an onslaught of bills attacking trans children in 33 states, the NCAA Board of Governors released a statement "firmly and unequivocally" standing beside trans athletes.
7. One young trans woman did win an NCAA track and field national championship at the Division II several years ago, which was considered an upset victory against cis women who had beaten her several times before. She failed to even place in several other events at the same meet. She is the only known openly-trans woman to win an NCAA national championship in track and field. You can read more about her story from trans journalist Dawn Ennis here.
8. Of course, none of this should surprise Jenner, who told Dawn Ennis on her podcast last year, quite clearly, that she supports trans kids competing on teams that align with their gender identity. Last year.
9. Did you know Caitlyn Jenner hypocritically competes in women's golf tournaments? Well, now you do.
10. Jenner claims this is about keeping things fair, absent evidence it's not, and yet, prominent cis women athletes like Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, and Candace Parker, among countless others, have made public statements supporting trans girls and young women competing on girls and womens teams.
11. Megan Rapinoe even wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post on the topic. You should read it.
12. Also, here's what Rapinoe had to say about Jenner specifically after her anti-trans comments.
13. Feminist organizations like the National Women's Law Center, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and the Women's Sports Foundation have all made it clear they support trans girls and young women in girls' and women's sports.
This is a fabricated issue that has grown out of a broad lack of knowledge about trans children and trans health care coupled with an intentional effort by Republicans to dehumanize trans children.
It's understandable how people would be misled on this, especially if they don't know anyone who is transgender, but it is unconscionable that someone like Jenner, who knows that trans kids do not threaten girls' and women's sports, would take advantage of that lack of broad knowledge and weaponize it against trans children for political gain.
This matters because there is an ongoing nationwide campaign by Republican lawmakers to dehumanize trans children. Even trans children who don't play sports are seeing these arguments used to block gender-affirming medical care, despite every major medical authority, from the American Medical Association to the American Academy of Pediatrics, clearly stating their support for gender-affirming care for trans children.
Please listen to the experts and trust their guidance. Caitlyn Jenner is the Phyllis Schlafly of the trans community, and she has no qualms with throwing trans children under the bus just to grow her own brand.
Hi, I’m Charlotte Clymer, and this is my Substack. It’s completely free to access and read, but if you feel so moved to support my writing, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription: just $7/month or save money with the $70/annual sub. You can also go way above and beyond by becoming a Founding Member at $210.
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