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Caitlyn Jenner, Ted Cruz, and the Flavor of Tarantulas

Caitlyn Jenner, Ted Cruz, and the Flavor of Tarantulas
March 4, 2016 Jennifer Boylan

caitlyn-ted-cruz-750No, I wasn’t surprised by Caitlyn Jenner’s expression of support for Ted Cruz. I heard her say as much hour after hour this fall as I worked on her show. Everyone needs to get their mind around the fact that politically she is, like half the country, a conservative, and the sooner you get your mind around this, the angrier you can be.

The fact that she’s swooning over Ted Cruz–a bigot, a hater, and an all around dunderhead–is galling, but no more galling, to me, than a political philosophy that exclusively benefits the wealthy and leaves the rest of us to struggle. Cruz’s policies on trans rights are horrific, but not a whole lot more horrific than those of anyone else in the GOP currently running for office. 

Here’s a different question to consider, however. How shall we talk to each other in this country? How is it even possible to open people’s hearts and change their minds when we hold each other in utter contempt?

In the first episode of I Am Cait viewers will see me taking one approach: I yell at her, shouting that the idea of conservatives supporting the rights of minorities, “is a lie! That is never going to happen! You’re living in a dream world!” At the end of this exchange I strike her with a rolled-up newspaper and not ironically either. I smack her like she is a basset hound that just took a dump on the carpet.

I think it is fair to say that this strategy failed to turn her into a Democrat.

In fact, I don’t think there’s any such strategy that would have this result. And so, yeah: hanging out with her was infuriating. On the second day of filming, I tried to quit the show. I had a lengthy conversation with the show-runner saying, “I just can’t do this. I want to go home.”  There is footage of this somewhere.

But I stayed in there. In part, because on Survivor, (my favorite show), I always get angry when people “quit the game,” as if they really didn’t understand what they were signing on for when they agreed to spend 39 days boiling rice and eating tarantulas.

But more importantly: the questions facing me– and my other friends on the show, including Candis Cayne and Chandi Moore and Kate Bornstein– were the very questions facing the entire country right now. How do we learn to live with people whom we disagree? How do we learn to love each other? How is it possible to communicate with people whom we want to smack with a newspaper?

The question, for me, is not, will Cait become a liberal? There is no operation for that, alas. But she CAN become someone who listens, who opens her heart, who has compassion. And so can I.


  1. Phobrek 8 years ago

    I loves you, Jenny! A great teacher, in and out of the classroom.

  2. Linda Tipton 8 years ago

    I couldn’t /wouldn’t put up with her for any reason myself. My inner peace is more important to me than fees or “getting along” for whatever reason. Selfish, self-centered. egotist, ultra conservative or bible thumpers are not representative of me, my values, or lifestyle. Anger and stress are negative emotions in my life, I choose to avoid or prevent, best I can. Caitlyn brings out negative feelings I dislike in myself, so best to avoid her, her press releases, shows, and never any personal contact for God’s sake! Where is my “Voo Doo” now ???

  3. Lori Wireman 8 years ago

    I can not believe Caitlyn will do something so horrible!! She is no longer a white rich man now she a transgender woman. Ted Cruz would labeled her as a degenerate! So maddening!! I am a woman married to Bill for 35 years and I support gay marriage, transgender, gay right ect. I believe that life is short loved who want!!

  4. Cathy 8 years ago

    Well said!

  5. Mara Glubka 8 years ago

    “How is it possible to communicate with people whom we want to smack with a newspaper?” A: By looking them in the soul and speaking our truth fully and from love. Sometimes we have cut our losses and run and sometimes we have to turn down the golden ticket. Or not.

  6. Lynne LaFountaine 8 years ago

    I agree that the question is how best to open communication with those who I want to shake awake. But I want them to see/know how loving we each can be. What benefits we can be to each other.

  7. SSully 8 years ago

    Great article, but we can’t all be expected to be the same, think the same. CJ is from a different culture. BUT, open her mind and she can have a roadway to “the other side” and just maybe can get them to listen……slowly. Patience. There has been more change in the last 2 years, then the last 10. Why expect all Trans to think alike, believe in the same things. We are all humans, from different places. We are the same as the rest of humanity – many, many differences and beliefs. Not all thinking alike or believing uniformly is a good thing. Annoying, but a good thing,

  8. Nikki Roderick 8 years ago

    God bless you for having the strength to deal with such a stressful situation.
    How she can support anyone in the GOP blows my mind. They surely would not support her.
    I feel like hitting her with a newspaper. You’ve worked so hard for the rights of trans people. And for her. It feels to me like such a smack in the face to everyone who has supported her. I may just be a women who happened to be born straight but this angers me so much. You are a better person than I am for sure. It’s one thing to see her on TV. But to deal with this situation in real life I just don’t know that I could do it. You are one classy lady. Maybe you can get her to see that she is supporting someone who doesn’t deserve it someone who thinks of her as less than human. And sees the whole LGBTQ community as sinners. I pray she will open her eyes and see the light. Until then bless you for trying to get her to see and understand.

  9. Tana Pigeon 8 years ago

    Shame and self-loathing are usually part of the repression package for trans folks, so it’s not such a stretch to me to see someone like Jenner support someone who officially loaths people like us, and like her. I wonder if on some level her Cruz support represents “I deserve to be treated like this, I deserve to be looked down upon.” She made a good show of strength and confidence during acceptance of her ESPN award, but a trans person doesn’t operate in the closet as long as she did and not internalize a great deal of heinous shit. I think it’s possible that a portion of that heinous shit she’s come to accept is represented by her political ideology.

  10. Barbara Richards 8 years ago

    Courtesy of Mike McCabe- “Blue Jeans in High Places”: When we view the world horizontally we see left and right and can’t find common ground. When we view the world vertically we see the top and the bottom. Who comes together around this? We get a different group of common interests that can move us forward. Those who cast their lot with the top will be there but they will not be blocking the common interests of those who are now together for good of the majority. Also read The Fourth Turning and see where we can move forward with power that may bring us all through the coming change.

  11. Chloe 8 years ago

    First off, I love your work Jenny. Your a true voice for the trans community. To get to the point of my comment, Ted Cruz to me is the very face of oppression , discrimination and hatred of and towards the LGBT community. All you need to do is watch this clip of Mr Cruz partaking of this event with “kill the gays” pastor Kevin Swanson. Skip forward to minute 5:45. Tells a sad tale:

    Then you have all of these so called “bathroom bills” being advanced by Caitlyn’s conservative buddies. It’s disgusting. I’m sorry (not really), but this is just further evidence that Caitlyn, despite all of this education from wonderful trans activists such as Kate Bornstein, Chandi Moore, yourself and the rest of the crew and full immersion in the trans community seems to have learned nothing. She seems completely detached from the incredible struggles and much of it stemming from conservative law makers determination to force us into the shadows.#

    Ughh, I think Caitlyn is a poor spokesperson for the community. I love you and your work Jenny, but I feel your fighting a losing battle there. Good luck.

  12. Cara Ramsey 8 years ago

    We don’t have to love one another. All we have to do is agree to respect one another’s rights. And no, there is no “right” to oppress other people, no matter what your religion says. That’s the problem though, isn’t it? She idolizes a man who has said he wants to take away her rights. So, so absurd and blind. Has she even seen what he’s said?

    You see, I wouldn’t care about Ted Cruz and transgender people, if he’d just leave us alone. But he won’t. He won’t leave us alone.

    If he wins, God forbid, I hope Caitlyn approaches him. She’ll either get laughed out of the Oval Office, or used as an Uncle Tom while Cruz attacks the very rights that Caitlyn says she cares about. And if the latter happens, I wonder how long it will take her to realize she’s being used?

    And while I admire your perseverance, Jenny, I no longer believe Caitlyn is even capable of real empathy. I wish you luck, patience, and tolerance in the next season, if you stay involved with her show. You’re going to need it, because I do not think Caitlyn Jenner will ever “get it” in this lifetime.

  13. Alyson 8 years ago

    Unfortunately you are lending credibility to the show by your participation. Jenner’s politics and her twisted facade of caring by “listening” is disengenuous at best. If you wanted to impact her, walking off would have made press and furthered the complete lack of respect the trans-community has for Jenner. We are adept at seeing her for precisely what she is, a shill for GOP hate. The only fix there is to vote every Republican out of office and repeat until they are but a footnote in a history book. The GOP long ago gave up the mantle of Lincoln and Eisenhower. While I appreciate your effort to change Jenner, I’d rather continue to hold you in high esteem by seeing you stand up for us rather than behave like HRC’s repeated failures toward us.

  14. Mitch Gordon 8 years ago

    In a quote used in the musical Hamilton, “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” your point is somewhat made. We need to be able to embrace each other despite our opinions or stances. This crowd of GOP candidates is a test for all of us on that count. There are many of us engaged in helping facilitate dialogue. Political campaigns teach us that conversation is not important. Yelling screaming insulting hating becomes the accepted method. When we learn to listen to understand, and that every conversation is a relationship we will find ourselves communicating and living from the heart….even, perhaps especially, when we disagree.

  15. Kimberly Ann 8 years ago

    First I’d like to state that I’m a “glass half full” kind of a girl. A woman who tries to look at both sides of an issue, quite often leading to frustration when debating anything. Having said that I always took Caitlyn’s side in discussions with my friends. My biggest point was if Jennifer Boylin is involved then it has credibility. I sensed that the show’s theme was Caitlyn’s learning and maturation process plus that trans people come from all walks of life and political convictions. This is my view of the show. I realize that the show first and foremost is “show biz” and people have to want to watch it. It’s a necessary evil to get the message out and stir interest in our community, a learning experience hopefully.
    So have you made up your mind ? I would understand and support you either way. Luv ya.

  16. Briana Rekowski 8 years ago

    Love what you do Jenny. When CJ came out I thought it was a great thing. When the sh*t storm about her started on my “block” in the “community”, I always defended her. I always said, “She may not understand what it is to be us, and she may never do so, but, we are in a war, a war of acceptance, and everyone in a war has a specific job to do.” “CJ’s job in this war is simply to exist, that’s it.” “By existing, she puts a NORMAL face on being trans.” “A face other than the one painted by (A) the Republicans, (B) Fox News, and (C) the porn industry, and she does so on a scale not achievable by anyone else on earth because of her fame.” I love what you all do, Jenny. You all make life a little easier for all of us. I have to admit though, this Ted Cruz thing………………..Being different from us is one thing, this….I just don’t know. Maybe Ted needs to step up and tell her what he really thinks of her, over and over. Maybe then, the light would come on. While her existence is still important to us, and her feelings, and opinions are hers to hold, being trans is what brought her back to unimaginable fame again. So, she needs to learn that, speaking to you, she can say whatever she wants, however she wants to say it, Jenny, because you are her friend. But, whenever there is a camera, or a microphone pointed at her, her answers and statements MUST start, “The community needs ……………………….” or, “The community wants……………………..” or, “The community must have…….. ……………………” Then, and only then, it can be followed with, “My feelings are …………………” , but then I don’t suffer from the things that they suffer from” , or something to that end.

  17. Heather Cameron 8 years ago

    Such a simple question. Such an elusive answer.
    I tried the “agree to disagree” approach and found I could have a civil conversation only by keeping silent and frowning a lot. I thought just talking about the weather would be innocuous enough. Oops. It took mere seconds for some folks to rail about the cabal of rich scientists (??!??) “making up” global warming. Sigh.
    Engagement is futile (it’s like the old Python argument sketch.)
    Silence equals acquiescence to the same people. The folks I struggle with won’t even agree to disagree, because to them ANY agreement with “the likes of me” might as well be unconditional surrender on their part. I don’t want to hang out with only like minded people, but I have found no way to have a dialog with hardcore believers from the opposite camp. I’m anxious about the future of our diverse democracy.
    E pluribus unum? I’m not so sure any more. I really hope my pessimism is overblown.
    Good luck with Cait. I hope you can keep the disagreement civil. Some folks will stubbornly stick to their opinion rather than concede a point. But if they think their attitude change is an epiphany they reached on their own, they may lower their defenses and embrace the new viewpoint.
    . I’ll be rooting for you.

  18. Kristen Browde 8 years ago

    I suppose there’s some merit in the attempt to educate Ms. Jenner. I’d suspect, however, that it’s outweighed by frustration stemming from her apparent inability to recognize that, whatever the economic or national security considerations that might lead someone to prefer one politician over another, when that politician advocates – whether tacitly or otherwise – a pogrom that would sweep you up, it’s time to find another politician.

    What makes the effort even less advisable, in my opinion, is that it’s part of promoting someone who, admittedly wrongly, is seen by the vast majority as an example of what a transgender woman looks like and how she’s likely to think. And we all know that Ms. Jenner is many things and has done many positive things to change the conversation about being transgender – but what she is plainly not is representative of the mainstream of transgender experience or thought.

  19. Lola 8 years ago

    That is no way to treat a Bassett Hound either!!!

  20. Jason 8 years ago

    Jenny, you’ve been an outstanding leader in the trans community for quite some time and I appreciate all the work you’ve done. You and the other women Caitlyn has surrounded herself with are the only reason I persevered watching season one. The show was at times frustrating and I cringed at many of the comments Caitlyn made that aired. She comes off as quite egotistical and rather stubborn. I personally haven’t seen much evolution in her way of thinking nor do I expect to. Caitlyn may say she wants to lend her voice to effect positive change for the LGBTQ community but her actions and way of thinking don’t seem in line to make much of an impact on the changes we so desperately need. I’m a big fan of Survivor myself and would rather eat boiled rice with tarantulas than try to reason with a closed minded person for 39 days. I’d like to see you have your own show to continue to educate people about the needs and issues the trans community faces without all the Jenner/Kardashian drama – that part of the show is a turn off for me personally.

  21. Elizabeth 8 years ago

    I’m struggling to find a way to word this as politely as possible, in the hopes of forwarding the dialogue. I may fail, but please know my intent was positive.

    It is my belief that Caitlyn is about as transgender as I am. Thus, she dilutes the greater message of the LGBT community- since IN NO WAY should she be ANY kind of advocate or leader. Bruce/Caitlyn advocates for BRUCE/CAITLYN. No the community as a whole. Not the poor and disenfranchised. Not the needy, the hungry, the suicidal, the confused, the desperate. No, no, and no. Time and again when asked simple questions, Bruce/Caitlyn openly dumps all over the LGBT community by going against the things the community needs most! Support, action, understanding, empowerment, love and acceptance.

    B/C doesn’t believe in gay marriage. He/She may have changed the tune now, but it comes out false.

    B/C supports Ted Cruz. TED. CRUZ. Ted Cruz would have B/C committed. Ted Cruz has about as much love for the LGBT community as Hitler had for the Jews.

    I think B/C has done more damage to the LGBT community than can possibly be imagined. Real and serious voices like yours- and even that of your wife- are drowned out by this reality TV creation. I so wish you were on a real show with real issues that would do REAL THINGS to help the community. Alas, you are not.

    Shame on the E! Network for airing something so destructive- and shame on everyone for giving B/C a platform to spew her hate. Regardless of gender, Jenner is a hateful cow who cares for no one but themself.


  22. Elizabeth 8 years ago

    I forgot to add two things that drove me nuts about Caitlyn’s performance tonight.

    1. Hillary Clinton is against women?!?!? As compared to Ted Cruz? I eye rolled so hard, I thought they might stay that way forever.

    2. Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they truly are, believe them.” Caitlyn has showed you- and the other WONDERFUL women on the show working with her- who she is. Jenny, I don’t believe anything can be gained by staying.

    I do, however, wish YOU and the rest of the women the absolute best. YOU are a fighter and YOU are REAL.

    That show you’re on is not.

  23. Mikie 8 years ago

    You can’t have it both ways! Just like you want people to be open minded and accepting of your views, you have to be open minded and accepting of theirs. I know many Republicans that don’t have an issue with the LGBT community and I know plenty of Democrats that do. There are bigger issues then just the LGBT agenda. I almost turned the channel when they started to gang up on Cait because she is a Conservative. It showed they have no respect for someone that doesn’t think as they do! To hit someone with a newspaper or anything else is assault. to yell at them is verbal abuse! You can’t hit someone or be violent to them just because you don’t agree with their views. Violence is never the answer! We need more people like Caitlyn Jenner in the Republican party. If the LGBT community wasn’t forced to leave the Republican Party we would have more people there stating that’s it’s OK! Cait is 100% correct that she doesn’t have to change her views. Jennifer wouldn’t even listen to Cait’s views she got up and walked away yet she said that Cait was the irrational that wouldn’t listen! Everyone else sat there and discussed it like mature adults! talk about someone that has been living in a bubble for so long that they are not willing to bring in any new ideas or information…

  24. Elizabeth 8 years ago

    @Briana Rekowski I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, Caitlyn does NOT put a “normal” face on LGBT. She shows all the most shallow parts of existence. The make up, the traveling, the gossip, blah blah blah, all paid for by E!

    Jenny and others like her? THEY are the normal. These are the men and woman the LGBT community should look up to. For the love of God… we’ve got a country of kids emulating the Kardashian’s. Now, we’re going to have LGBT youth emulating Caitlyn- a woman who has no care or concern for the community at all. It’s infuriating and sad, to be honest.

    If LGBT youth follow her lead, they will be learning by example to vote against their own self interests and to always make sure their makeup is on point. Nothing deep. Nothing like what SO MANY other LGBT activists could teach.

    It just…. makes me really sad.

    I wish we didn’t live in a society where someone like Caitlyn is the one getting the attention. It sends the wrong message and I fear it will cause far more harm than it does good.

  25. Elizabeth 8 years ago

    And finally- I just want to say I’d watch a show with you Chandi Moore and Kate Bornstein any day of the week. I absolutely adore you all and think you do AMAZING works.

    Jury is kind of out on Candis. She comes across as a shallow Caitlyn hanger on. I hope that isn’t the case.

  26. Zoe 8 years ago

    I realized this morning that I never followed a single story about Bruce Jenner, and only recognized his name from a cereal box, nor did I know anything about the Kardashians, not even the fact that Robert Kardashian was a team member of Simpson’s legal team until the transition….so it didn’t shock me, but had me put off by Caitlyn Jenner’s responses about the GOP and/or conservatives. Her selecting Cruz among the lot had me nearly laughing as I could think of no one more offensive.
    If the Trans community and supporters continue to follow “I am Cait” it is likely because you, Candis, et al. are on board the bus, not because of Caitlyn Jenner.

    As much of a splash Ms. Jenner has made, I don’t find her sufficiently able to speak for and/or advocate on behalf of transgender concerns.

  27. Cheryl S 8 years ago

    So once again you see the very “tolerant” Democrats become the most “intolerant” when someone does not have the same views as them. Caitlyn has conservative views and just because she does not think or believe everything that you do – this does not mean she is wrong or she is a “bad” person. Jenny you need to stay in your lane – Caitlyn will adjust to being transgender in her own time (remember she lived as a man for approx. 64 years). Who died and made you judge and jury of the timeline that she should be on?

  28. Elizabeth 8 years ago

    Cheryl, it’s not that Democrats become intolerant, although I think it’s easier for Republicans to couch it in those terms. But that’s a whole other sad state of affairs.

    The issue is that Ted Cruz- out of ALL of the Republican candidates- is the most on the record espousing disgust for the LGBT community.

    If there was a Republican running who was anti something about YOU or your family, would you throw your vote behind that person?

    No. Because only a fool would do so.

  29. Jim Green 8 years ago

    “I Am Cait” is about Caitlin’s journey, but it is through your eyes that we see her journey unfolding. For this reason, if you were to quit the show, there would be no show.

    As I commented last August, “I really truly didn’t want to watch ‘I Am Cait.’ Then I saw that you were an advisor and, having read ‘She’s Not There,’ I figured that the reality show couldn’t go too far off the rails. And, in fact, your even keel and thoughtfulness seems to have set an example that Cait is learning from or that has amplified Cait’s thoughtfulness or perhaps a little of both.”

    It is always baffling when people we care about are oblivious to things that seem so obvious to us. You and Caitlin’s other friends and acquaintences might want to recall for Caitlin the circumstances in which Caitlin’s eyes have been opened in the last few years, suggesting that a dramatic shift in her viewpoint in those circumstances might give her pause to think further about other long-held beliefs. She is entitled to her believes, however self-defeating—we not asking her to change her mind to ours, but can ask her simply to entertain doubts and the possibility that she might yet change her mind about things she feels had been set in her mind in stone.

    Bill Maher did a nice riff on “a conservative doesn’t usually get it until it happens to them” (for example, Dick Cheney’s views given he is a father to his daughter and Nancy Reagan’s views on stem-cell research as a wife to a victim of Alzheimer’s).

    Finally, please consider sharing the Amichai poem, “The Place Where We Are Right”. For us and for Caitlin! (

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts!

  30. Jane 8 years ago

    The most articulate conversation that I’ve heard comes from Brynn Tannehill in her latest Huffington Post blog. Of course, she wasn’t getting rolling eyes and looks of disdain while going through why Ted Cruz is very bad for LGBT in general, and specifically the transgender community. Brynn of course was prompted to write this in response to Season 2 Episode 1. I feel threatened everyday for simply daring to “be” trans. I’m terrified by this election and, frankly, Justin Trudeau and Canada are looking more attractive every day. Here’s the link to Brynn’s blog:

    Thanks so much Jenny

  31. Anthony 8 years ago

    Hi Jenny,
    I think the best way to look at the Caitlyn issue with her beliefs is to accept & embrace her differences. When has there ever been such a public transgender figure in the Republican Party? Never. To me she is the ultimate rebel or trailblazer cause she is trying to change the way we think about politics…which is ever evolving. At one time, republican president Lincoln freed the slaves. Not every republican is a crazy right wing conservative fanatic. It takes balls (literally) for Caitlyn to maintain her stance with so much flak from her peers. For that I feel she should be commended and shown some compassion. Even Trump is proving how we should think differently about the party (trust me I’m not voting for him It just gets tiring to see you all argue on the show about it. Time is too precious. 🙂

  32. Stacie 8 years ago

    Cait does talk “at” people- not with them. She did this during her political “lecture”. She wants to leave Bruce behind yet use Bruce spew that conservative rhetoric.

    Can’t have both.

  33. Kristie 8 years ago

    We watched I Am Cait tonight too and have from the beginning. It is very obvious to me that Caitlyn is in her infancy as a trans woman and for this reason should not be expected to be a spokesperson for the trans community, as she herself is just discovering who she is. I do think she is sincere in wanting to help, in wanting to shed light on the trans community but because of her wealth and celebrity she doesn’t have the same obstacles and struggles the average trans person has nor does she really understand how they feel which is painfully obvious. The fact that she is Republican or conservative doesn’t bother me but the fact that she has so blindly drank the coolade and isn’t listening or open to having a discussion does bother me…it was uncomfortable but could she really not see everyone’s reaction and wonder why everyone there felt so differently ? That said my spouse is trans (and moderately conservative and I am liberal) and we have been happily married for 17 years. We survived her transition 2 years ago and decided to stay together because we love each other. We kid now that she is a lesbian married to a straight woman. I too was surprised when Cait said she didn’t think she would date a woman. I wonder if that isn’t part of her wanting to experience what she believes being a woman is in her mind. Jenny, we’ve read your book She’s Not There and it was very helpful to us, and I as a spouse especially liked reading how your wife felt both at the time and 10 years later. Your wife has been on the show but when discussing the others boyfriends or who Caitlyn would date, staying with your spouse or you saying you had stayed with your spouse, was not even mentioned as an option. We find you and your wife inspirational so please don’t forget those of us who have stayed married to their spouse. I agree your presence on the show for us had led it a credibility and was surprised to read here you wanted to quit. I think Cait is going to have to learn a lot of these lessons on her own out of the spotlight before she really understands.

  34. Mairead 8 years ago

    Thank you for teaching the World compassion one day at a time

  35. Evan Thomas 8 years ago

    Ms. Boylan, I salute you. You are a model of courage and compassion in so many ways, and it must take so much of both to hang in with Ms. Jenner, to keep trying to reach her in the hope that she can at least learn to listen.

    You have the hearty thanks of this trans geezer!

  36. Mike & Tony Gramley 8 years ago

    Personally, I think a far-better educational show would be “Life With JBo” (as some of her students call her.) Jennifer has fought the more real fight. I would like to see her on campus with her students and colleagues, and learn more about her wife Deedie and their day-to-day adventures. I think a show about this wonderfully smart and kind woman would have far more truth and reality in it than Caitlyn’s story. It appears to me that Caitlyn is simply too far out of touch!

  37. nana303 8 years ago

    May I call you Jenny? I am old and I have lived through a lot. I have all the respect in the world for you, but none for Caitlyn.

  38. Emily 8 years ago

    Ms Boylan, please don’t quit the show. You are a model of compassion and reason for all of us that watch it. I honestly don’t know if I would watch it if you and Kate weren’t there to try and bring things back to reality.

    What disturbs me about Caitlyn is that she does not actually debate, She just keeps stating her opinions over and over and louder and louder. She frequently interrupts people and tells them they are wrong but never substantiates her position with any facts. And when Zachary tried to present facts about Hilary Clinton, Caitlyn listen and didn’t offer any facts in rebuttal, she just got louder. I have found that this kind of response is often an indication that a person really does not have a deep understanding of the their own beliefs and so they are left to repeating the same thing over and over. Sadly, what could have been a beneficial political discussion was reduced to Caitlyn essentially shouting down anyone who disagreed with her.

    I wonder if Caitlyn actually knows Ted Cruz’s views on us? Does she know that the man sat in an auditorium with a supposed Christian pastor making a supposed biblical case for executing gay people! By his own admission the only reason this pastor didn’t call for his followers to start the killing was to “give them time to repent”. Any candidate with any decency and respect for humanity would have got up and walked out. Ted Cruz as president scares me. It should scare Caitlyn too. She is one of us and entitled to her beliefs and opinions and I will do my best to support her in whatever conversations I have. If my assessment is correct, I hope that as she grows as Caitlyn she will gain a deeper understanding of the views she holds and the ability to back them up using facts presented with grace and respect.

  39. Kate 8 years ago

    Hi everyone, hopefully including Jenny,

    I don’t want to make this a long ‘rant’, but I felt the need to say something.

    I truly consider myself a non-bias individual; someone who grew up (& still deals) with constant judgement. I enjoy the process of getting to know different types of people from all walks of life – no 2 individuals are the same and I love that. Another strong trait of mine is my passion for learning… anything! I’ve always been fascinated by the unknown and felt the need to find answers to any and everything I have little knowledge of. That being said, I have read only a few of Jenny’s books, have done much research on her background and you can say I kind of ‘followed her’ over the years (yes, before “I Am Cait”). It was a world I knew little about, therefore, I dove in head first, and Jenny seemed to be everywhere I looked. She is great on so many levels, from her professional background to family lifestyle. (Again, trying to keep this brief) Unfortunately, over the last season of “I Am Cait” and the current season (still airing), I am seeing a different side of Jenny I am NOT liking! (and felt the need to express it)

    For someone who has always looked for equality amongst us, why does she have a ‘my way or the highway’ approach towards SO MANY things!?! I know I can’t ever speak for someone unless I’ve walked a lifetime in their shoes, but I always looked at Jenny as a more open minded individual. I was taken back many times in the first season, and thought they were possibly flukes or she was trying to make points… but with only a few episodes aired this season so far, and such a large amount of discrepancies on Jenny’s end, I’m beginning to see a true side to her that I’m not fond of.

    Politics? I can’t even believe she attempted to get down on anyone about their beliefs. Politics… religion… those are based on an individual’s beliefs and it is HARD to change someone’s views on either of those topics! To get outright mad, argumentative and/or walk away from something you don’t like hearing, is shameful to me. Disagreeing with someone identifying as a “tranny” instead of a “woman”? That blew my mind! Again, this is what someone else chooses for THEMSELVES – why is she holding judgement? I understand she has a bad past time with that word, but if I was upset with every person who used a word that negatively impacted my life, I’d sincerely hate everyone. Male, female, trans, tranny, homo, dyke, fag, lesbian, gay – I’m sure one of those words offended whoever is reading this, and I think it’s different for each person. So who is wrong and who is right, and why? Big, chunky, chubby, thick, fat, curvaceous, overweight. Certain people take offense to certain words, most likely based on experiences. So again I ask, who is wrong and who is right? And why?

    Jenny just seems to have this “I’m always right” and “if you don’t agree with me, you’re wrong” attitude, which is a big turn off, for me at least. Jenny, if you’re reading this, please know that from SOME people’s perspectives (at least mine) you’re coming off a little arrogant, unlike the woman I thought I learned much about. I don’t mean this as disrespectful, but more of a 3rd party, outside-looking-in, diverse point of view. I hope you’ll be open to actually hearing my opinion and not just shut it down because you disagree or I don’t really “know” you well enough. I am telling you what I’m seeing, and it’s probably not the light you want to be shed on you through the lens.

  40. Sara 8 years ago

    The issue regarding Cait does not revolve around a disagreement over political views but through her continuing efforts to assert herself as the public image of trans*. Not only does her actions continually perpetuate the negative stereotypes of our community but she has actively disparaged the real struggles facing young trans*. While her transition has created a conversation, her continued presence is actively making the lives of trans* objectively worse. Your presence and psedou-defense of her is fairly disheartening in that your association with her provides a certain validity to her actions. Im not one to judge another’s actions but you are also someone who has established themselves as a representative of our community and because of that your actions impact more than just yourself.

    Our community has fantastic men and women who have made real and valuable contributions to society. Society needs to see that fundamentally we are no different than anyone else and that our transition is just a trivial aspect of who we are as humans. There are so many extraordinary people in our community and these are the people that need to be the image of our community, not Cait.

  41. Jennifer 8 years ago

    How long does it take to moderate my comment? Or do you choose only to post submissions with similar viewpoints to yours? I may not be a member of the transgender community, but I am human and the reason I tuned in to the I Am Cait show was because I was moved be all of your stories. I laughed with you and I cried with you and I was fully invested in the journey of all the women (not Caitlyn’s) because it was refreshing to watch people treating each other with kindness. It didn’t matter to me what the precipitating issue was because the underlying theme, for me, was acceptance without judgment. Jennifer and Kate are the reasons why I haven’t missed an episode because they were honest and vulnerable and patient and gave me hope that we could learn more about how to celebrate each other without fear of losing ourselves. After watching the last show, I was so impressed with the way Jennifer and Kate handled the the tension with Caitlyn without losing their composure or diminishing the integrity of the show, I wanted to learn more about them. The first person I typed in Google search was Jennifer. I did a double take. Her website and her articles were in sharp contrast to the image she displays on the show. I am so disappointed and confused to read the pages upon pages of negativity against well pretty much everyone and everything she disagrees with. I thought we were learning tolerance and how to speak our truth without resorting to bully and blame tactics? Jennifer, I feel a bit foolish thinking you had something special to offer the show. You cannot transmit something you do not have.

  42. Jennifer 8 years ago

    If you find yourself telling someone, “You’re doing it wrong,” you’re probably doing it wrong.

    -Jennifer Boylan

  43. Jennifer 8 years ago

    Kate’s message is thoughtful and kind and generous. I wish I had written my post more like hers, but alas, I am me! LOL! Thank you, Kate, and Kate B., and Jenny B., and the show and the community and the network and even our sweet doe Caitlyn, because without this exposure, I’m embarrassed to admit that I had no idea. I literally had-no-idea-and -now-i-do. And it’s made me think about things, form opinions, take a stand, ask questions, consider others just a tiny bit more, listen to others when I don’t want to, expand my mind, be mindful, and I am loving my new awareness! I am becoming a better person by learning about the transgender world. And until this breakdown on the bus that has Jenny in a tailspin, I never once let labels of color, race, economics, celebrity, politics, jargon, religion, to drag or not to drag….filter my experience. Jenny, you’re amazing. You’re ready to change the world. Perhaps you could pump the breaks until the rest of us can catch up with your passion? I don’t want to be turned off when my beautiful journey is just beginning. And I can appreciate that you’re East coast scholar and writer and you must be feeling like you’re compromising your soul by being part of I Am Cait and the déclassé Hollywood machine. But you aren’t! I can’t be the only straight female conservative and reality show addict who’s tuning in and getting an unintended humanitarian reality check ! You can hate the game all you want. But you’re smart, and you’ve already established credibility with this audience from just 1 season! I would be disappointed to watch the momentum fade to black and it’s not about Caitlyn or who she’s wearing and voting for, cmon!! You’ve got an amazing opportunity to be a player and to affect change! But you’re alienating your audience with the rules and the heavy dialogue. Don’t vote yourself off the island just yet, Survivor!

  44. Scott Knowles 8 years ago

    Interesting essay and comments. It seems to me what’s been missed is that Caitlyn changed her gender, she didn’t change her personality, values and perspective. She was and still is a conservative, wealthy republican. How many transpeople have an entourage to help their transition and help her get through life. How many can afford the best surgeons (which she had facial surgery as Bruce)? Who has a publicist to ensure her coming out was and her being out is orchestrted to be attention getting and newsworthy?

    What she has shown me is that her trying to be the representative of transwomen is solely for your own publicity, which has gained her recognition, awards, contracts and a TV show. Her goal isn’t helping anyone but herself. Her political views are only a reflection of her longstanding values and perspective, and try as you and others to open her mind, you won’t succeed. She doesn’t get it because she doesn’t want to let alone care to get it. And the more and longer you and others try only benefits her. I applaud your efforts, but I would have walked out long ago seeing the futility in the effort.

    You can’t change someone who’s intentionally deaf. I’m disappointed many in the transcommunity haven’t taken her to task, but have embraced her because she’s (self-made) famous, and then swallow their words when they hear her views, especially embracing Ted Cruz. It makes me wonder her politiical goals in the Republican party, thinking it’s noble but giving them the fodder to continue their transphobia. Being a celebrity won’t change their hearts about transpeople. The question is if she’ll realize it.


  1. […] she could advise a President Cruz on trans issues. (In fact, responding to that interview, Boylan wrote on her blog that she considered leaving the show over Jenner’s […]

  2. […] she could advise a President Cruz on trans issues. (In fact, responding to that interview, Boylan wrote on her blog that she considered leaving the show over Jenner’s […]

  3. […] while most of this stems from Jenner’s interest in conservative politics, some (like Jenny Boylan and Kate Bornstein, friends of Jenner’s who happen to be strong political activists and […]

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