Scroll To Top

Caitlyn Jenner at Peace With Herself, Disillusioned With Trump

Caitlyn Jenner and Diane Sawyer

Jenner spoke to Diane Sawyer Friday night about all that's happened since she came out as transgender two years ago.

Two years after coming out as transgender, Caitlyn Jenner says she is "happy" and "peaceful," acknowledges she has made mistakes, and admits to disillusionment with her political party.

"I've grown into Caitlyn," the former Olympic athlete told Diane Sawyer on ABC's 20/20 Friday night. "It's tough to take 65 years of being Bruce and being male, and then like, overnight, everything changes. At first you don't know how to handle it."

Jenner gave her coming-out interview to Sawyer, and their second sit-down came just before the release of Jenner's memoir, The Secrets of My Life, which is out Tuesday.

Jenner addressed some of the controversy she aroused shortly after her coming-out, when she appeared tentative about her support for marriage equality and, on her reality TV series, I Am Cait, complained about deciding what to wear and being chased by paparazzi -- when other transgender people deal with discrimination, violence, and homelessness, and have a disproportionately high rate of suicide.

She also said she was overly idealistic, though, in thinking she could change the world for transgender people. Now she believes there will not be full acceptance of trans people in her lifetime, or perhaps ever, but she wants to dedicate the rest of her life to working for transgender equality. She has been gratified by hearing from some trans people that they were considering suicide but decided against it, at least partly because they were inspired by seeing her -- a famous, successful transgender person.

Jenner has also been criticized for her Republican politics, which she discussed on her reality show and elsewhere. Friday night she told Sawyer that she voted for Donald Trump for president and attended his inauguration, and thought he would take LGBT-inclusive stances. But she was distressed when his administration revoked Obama-era guidance on equal treatment of transgender students, including the recommendation that schools allow them access to the restrooms and locker rooms that comport with their gender identity.

"Here's the deal-breaker with the Republican Party," she told Sawyer. "And the deal-breaker is, 'You mess with my community ... you don't give us equality and a fair shot, I'm coming after you.'"

She said at the inauguration, she spoke briefly to Trump and he invited her to play golf, which she decided, after the revocation of the Obama guidance, would not be a good idea. But she would like to meet with him to talk about transgender issues, and she believes he and other top Republicans, like Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, would meet with her.

Jenner further told Sawyer that, as she reveals in her book, she has had full gender-confirmation surgery, undergoing what she called "final surgery" in January of this year. "I do mention in the book everything I did," she said. "But I wasn't less of a woman the day before I had the surgery than I was the day after I had the surgery, because that did not define who I am as a human being."

And no one should query a trans person about surgery, she added. "Don't ask the question," she said. "It's not an appropriate question to ask any trans person."

The episode also follows Jenner as she meets with parents of transgender children and with people who say their religion makes it difficult for them to accept trans people. Others featured in the show include trans author Jenny Boylan, who appeared on I Am Cait, and Arcadia, Calif., school superintendent David Vannasdall, discussing how his district has accommodated transgender students without difficulty. Watch the full episode below.

Advocate Magazine - Gio BenitezAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories