Caitlyn Jenner said Saturday (1 May) that she opposes trans athletes competing as their correct gender, saying “it just isn’t fair”.
The Republican former Olympian was inevitably crowbarred into the hot-button topic of trans folk’s participation in sports as she launched her bid for California governor and unseat Democrat Gavin Newsom.
Jenner, 71, told TMZ in an impromptu interview in a Starbucks parking lot in Malibu, California: “This is a question of fairness.
“That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school.
“It just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
When pressed by the reporter whether the bans are “delegitimising” a trans person’s identity, the gubernatorial hopeful shrugged off such concerns.
“Have a good day,” she said.
“I didn’t expect to get asked this on my Saturday morning coffee run,” Jenner tweeted after the interview went live.
“But I’m clear about where I stand. It’s an issue of fairness and we need to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Caitlyn Jenner’s comments comes amid an imperilling time for trans youth across the US, with dozens of state legislatures considering – and passing – reviled laws that ban them from competing in interscholastic sports.
Governors in North Dakota and Kansas have been forced to veto their bans and Pennsylvania’s governor has vowed to do the same. In Connecticut, a top federal judge struck down a lawsuit that sought to ban trans athletes.
Many of the often Republican lawmakers tout their bans as efforts to shield women’s rights, even packaging the bans with names such as the “Save Women’s Sports Act“.
But when asked to say what they are “saving” women’s sports from exactly, Republicans fumble and bluster.
They’ve suggested people want to become cats, they’ve struggled to cite a single case of a trans athlete causing an issue and, advocates stress, often default to tired, anti-trans myths instead of listening to actual experts.
Meanwhile, political tacticians have suggested that the seemingly coordinated attack on trans rights is part of the GOP’s effort to rebuild as a party post-Donald Trump. Reducing the lives of one of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in America to a “wedge issue”.