Caitlyn Jenner’s Stance on Same-Sex Marriage

Jenner+at+the+ESPY+Awards.

Chris Pizzello

Jenner at the ESPY Awards.

Jenna Grayson, Staff Writer

  For those living under a rock who are not familiar with Caitlyn Jenner’s story, here’s a quick recap: She was assigned male at birth and lived under the name “Bruce Jenner.” She won the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics, bringing home a gold medal for America. She married Kris Jenner in 1991 and had two children with Kris, Kylie and Kendall Jenner. Both are television personalities and Kendall Jenner is a model as well, gracing the covers of Vogue, Interview, Allure and many more. In 2007, when “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” first aired, it began to increase the public’s attention on Jenner. With rumors emerging about Jenner’s possible surgical sex-change in 2013 and 2014, she decided to sit down with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s 20/20 and talk about her gender identity in April 2015.

 Caitlyn Jenner “officially” came out as a transgender woman on the now-iconic Vanity Fair cover in June 2015. On the cover, she’s sitting on a stool in a silky white strapless bodice, with her long, brown hair let down and a content twinkle in her eyes, baring her true self to the world after 65 years. In the Vanity Fair cover story, Caitlyn opened up about her internal conflict about being a transgender woman, saying, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life.’”

 Jenner has been a strong activist for transgender rights and has even acknowledged her privilege as an upper-class white woman, which is why her views on queer-identified individuals were so surprising. “At first, I was not for it. I thought, I’m a traditionalist,” Jenner said on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.”I kind of like tradition and it’s always been a man and a woman. And I’m thinking, I don’t quite get it.”  She even added, “If the… word ‘marriage’ is really, really that important to you, I can go with it,” to her iffy statement. Ellen DeGeneres has never looked so uncomfortable on her feel-good, bubbly show in all of its 12 years of glory.

 Jenner’s stance on same-sex marriage is especially confusing because all of her life she’s dated women and has expressed attraction to them. In the painfully awkward interview with Caitlyn Jenner, Ellen Degeneres wondered the same thing. “You must’ve thought, ‘Okay if I’m going to become a woman, am I going to date women?’ because your whole life you’ve loved women. Because you’re the same person, you just look physically different — are you going to date men, women, what are you doing?” she asked Jenner. This caused Jenner to attempt to change the subject a bit, bringing up young transgender people, joking about her multitude of children, and how she feels that she’s “past that stage in her life.” The response from Jenner still remained ambiguous with her stating, “Right now I’m just very busy doing a lot of things and kind of getting used to where I’m at and who I’m at. And as time goes on, I’ll kind of deal with that subject.”

 DeGeneres went on the Howard Stern show the same day her interview with Jenner aired and revealed how she felt uncomfortable by Caitlyn’s hint at homophobia saying, “And I said, ‘You’re wanting for people to understand and accept you; this is like really confusing to people. And you still have a judgement about gay people and marriage,” to paraphrase what she felt like saying to Jenner. Caitlyn Jenner is a deeply conservative Republican, so this probably shouldn’t be a shock, but since Jenner is so liberal and outspoken on issues in the trans community, people weren’t expecting her to have such elitist, bigoted beliefs of a stereotypical conservative.

 The biggest disappoint here is that Caitlyn Jenner is someone who does face discrimination and prejudice and is turning her back on others who face ignorance as well within the LGBTQPIA+ community. If there’s one thing that the LGBTQPIA+  community needs, it’s allies and people both within and outside the community supporting each other.