At a special event adjacent to, but not exactly at, the Republican National Convention today, Caitlyn Jenner made it clear today that she still sees herself a Republican, but pushed the party to improve its positions on gay and transgender issues.
Jenner (along with talk show host Montel Williams) participated in a "Big Tent Brunch" sponsored by the American Unity Fund. The American Unity Fund is a non-profit group that supports LGBT causes on behalf of friendly conservatives and Republicans. The event today served as pushback against a party platform that seems to have grown more explicitly opposed to accommodating LGBT concerns.
Jenner, of course, was asked to weigh in on transgender issues and the fact that the GOP platform has openly taken a position against transgender accommodation in bathrooms and locker room facilities in public schools as "at once illegal, dangerous, and ignores privacy issues."
Jenner responded that everybody wants "safety in the bathrooms" but pointed out that there are already laws that exist to protect people from being victimized or having their privacy violated while using public facility. The reason this conflict is developing now is because transgender youths are now starting to self-identify earlier. That's leading to new types of bullying and "a terrible suicide rate of young kids." As such, she opposed the kind of legislation passed in North Carolina that requires transgender people to use the public school and government facilities that match the sex listed on birth certificates (private facilities are free to accommodate transgender people as they wish).
"Now the state of North Carolina is gonna come in and bully you, too," she said. She noted that she's been using women's restrooms for the past year and a half and has had no troubles and felt as though states were making new laws for a "non-issue."
The idea of policing who may go in which bathroom may seem inherently absurd and unenforceable, and insight on a lawsuit against a Wisconsin school district shows exactly how bonkers it gets when school officials decide to step in. According to The Daily Beast, the school district stands accused of ordering transgender students to wear bright green wristbands so that officials could observe and enforce making the students either use a single-occupancy restroom or the restroom of the student's birth sex. The family has filed a federal Title IX lawsuit against the school district.
While Milo Yiannopoulos may have been keeping his name in the limelight trying to get gay conservatives on board for Donald Trump, the Log Cabin Republicans, the best-known group for LGBT conservatives, actually put out a full-page ad in USA Today slamming the Republican Party for what they describe as "the most anti-LGBT platform the Republican Party has ever had."
Watch Jenner's speech below: