One of the nation's best-known transgender women, Caitlyn Jenner, has amplified right-wing criticism of trans TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney and misgendered Mulvaney in the process.
Jenner, a conservative, has now apologized for the misgendering, blaming a member of her staff, but said she stands by the rest of her statements.
Last week, Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee attacked Mulvaney, who's been chronicling her transition on TikTok. On Twitter, Blackburn shared a video of Mulvaney and wrote, "Dylan Mulvaney, Joe Biden, and radical left-wing lunatics want to make this absurdity normal."
In the video, Mulvaney says trans women should not feel they have to tuck their penises or avoid wearing tight pants, and that bulges in the crotch area should be normalized. Jenner retweeted Blackburn's tweet, praising the senator and saying, "Let's not 'normalize' any of what this person is doing."
Jenner replied to a critic by saying, "He is talking about his penis!"
Jenner followed with this tweet:
Mulvaney responded to Jenner in a TikTok video. "I automatically have a lot of respect for you as a fellow trans woman," Mulvaney said. "But then you decided to ridicule me very publicly." She added that "calling me a he" is "terrible and said Jenner implied that Mulvaney was a "creeper flasher exposing myself."
"I'm just curious if you can think back to your early days of transitioning and remember being embarrassed about your body or having strangers give you dirty looks -- that's why I made that video," Mulvaney added. "Because I was embarrassed, and I wanted to reclaim my body in a positive way. Now you've taken that and turned it into something really ugly."
Indeed, in a Vanity Fair profile published in 2015, shortly after Jenner announced her transition, she said she found questions about her body intrusive.
Jenner has now issued an apology of sorts. "An individual on Ms. Jenner's team haphazardly misgendered Dylan in the tweet 'he is talking about his penis.' For this we deeply regret the comment and have taken the appropriate actions to rectify the situation internally," a representative for Jenner told the Washington Examiner, a conservative outlet. "Ms. Jenner has no further comment on the matter and stands by her statements, otherwise."