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Caitlyn Jenner: I'm 'Blown Away' by John Oliver's Take on Trans Rights

Caitlyn Jenner: I'm 'Blown Away' by John Oliver's Take on Trans Rights


The trans reality star also recently asked trans communities in a blog post, 'Am I doing this right?'

Caitlyn Jenner commended Last Week Tonight host John Oliver for his recent headline-grabbing segment on transgender equality, telling the HBO comedian "Bravo!" for explaining key issues to millions of viewers.

Jenner praised Oliver and his show in a tweet posted Sunday:

Jenner, in her tweets and recently launched blog, has not shied away from admitting that she has a lot to learn about trans rights and lives, even as she's become a public figure the media increasingly looks to for comment.

In one of the 65-year-old former Olympian's first tweets she posted a picture of her with a group of trans women, writing, "Learn from those who have walked the path before you." And last week in a post to her website, Jenner pointedly asked trans communities if she was representing them well, saying:

"Up until now, I have totally isolated myself from the transgender community so I have a lot of catching up to do. I feel such a responsibility to this courageous group to try to get it right and tell all sides of the story. To me, that's always the biggest question: am I doing it right?"

While many trans advocates have pointed out the fact that Jenner is not, in many ways, representative of the "average" trans person by virtue of her economic status and role as a reality TV star, most have also commended her for being very honest about her own unique journey. As trans media icon Janet Mock put it:

Meanwhile, John Oliver, who is not trans, has also been doing his homework, working with GLAAD and other LGBT rights groups to produce the June 28 segment on anti-trans discrimination that Jenner praised so highly.

In the wide-ranging 16-minute bit, Oliver got plenty of laughs over how far the media goes to over-complicate the simple premise of gender identity, rhetorically (and incredulously) asking a video round-up of show hosts who grilled their trans guests with genitalia-related questions, "What are you doing?"

But Oliver also took the time to talk seriously about the effects of systemic discrimination, including the recent spate of anti-trans bathroom bills and the military's continued ban on open service by trans soldiers.

"It's genuinely crucial that we get this right," explained Oliver, later adding that, "[the] dynamic of praising a transgender person's 'courage' but not actually supporting them speaks to the fact that we are weirdly comfortable celebrating transgender people while simultaneously dehumanizing them."

Watch the full Last Week Tonight segment below.

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Mitch Kellaway