Caitlyn Jenner turns down transgender award amid controversy
Caitlin Jenner has turned down a transgender activism award, following anger and demands that it be rescinded.
The award was from St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, a network of community healthcare centres in Los Angeles.
She was due to receive an honour for her support of their Transgender Health Program, at their Eleganza ball on Saturday.
The ball was part of St. John’s TransNation film festival.
Jenner being given an award had been criticised by many LGBT activists, considering her controversial support of anti-LGBT politicians including Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
Although this week she revoked her support for Trump, saying his attacks on trans people were a “disgrace,” many considered this too little too late.
A petition, which demanded that Jenner not be given the award, was started by Ashlee Marie Preston on behalf of Trans Liberation Now, and received over 2000 signatures in four days.
It pointed out the way Jenner has hurt the LGBT community, including when she said trans people were provoking discrimination “by looking like a man in a dress,” and when she opposed same-sex marriage.
“We will not allow her to carry on as if she is the Christopher Columbus of Trans Identity or the Trans Christ and savior,” the petition said.
“We will NOT continue to allow her to pimp our narratives out for profit, and use us as social experiments that she can mold into an extension of the Kardashian brand.”
Yesterday, Jenner released a statement on her website turning down the award in the “spirit of unity and love.”
“I understand that my presence is distracting from the real purpose of the event, which is to celebrate the important and life-saving work of St. John’s,” she said.
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“Trans people understand what it’s like to be judged for who we are, and defined by a world that doesn’t understand us, so let’s present a united front in support of St. John’s Trans Health Program.”
St. John’s Well Child & Family Center also released a statement, saying that they had made the decision to rescind Jenner’s honour after listening to the concerns of activists.
“For us, it has always been about the patients who we serve. We have managed to focus on the human impact over politics,” they said.
“But, in today’s political climate, we realize that it is increasingly difficult to separate the two– especially because transgender lives are at risk every day under this new administration.”