You can be against Caitlyn Jenner's run for governor — just don't be transphobic about it

Former star Olympic athlete and reality TV personality Caitlyn Jenner has officially announced her candidacy for governor of California, in anticipation of a potential recall election of current governor Gavin Newsom.

In a post on Twitter, Jenner wrote, "I'm in! California is worth fighting for," and shared a link to her campaign website.

Jenner is both a long-time Republican and a transgender woman who has described herself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal. She came out as trans in 2015, received considerable backlash from the LGBTQ+ community for supporting President Trump in the 2016 presidential election, and ended up revoking her support over his transgender rights policies in 2018.

"California has been my home for nearly 50 years," she wrote in a press release. "I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality. But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision."


Jenner is the fourth Republican to announce their candidacy, and they all have an uphill climb ahead of them. Despite opponents gathering more signatures than the 1.5 million necessary to initiate a recall election, a recent poll found that 56% of likely voters in California oppose recalling Newsom, and only 40% say they would vote to recall him. In addition, his approval rating hovers around 54%.

Support for Jenner is also a big question mark, as the Republican party isn't exactly known for supporting the rights of the transgender community of which she is a part.

Former-Trump-voter-turned-Biden-supporter David Weismann wrote to Jenner, "I am a former Republican who does not understand your decision to run for Governor, especially as a Republican. Republicans do not acknowledge the transgender community's right to exist. Why support their hateful agenda?"

Transgender activist Charlotte Clymer was more blunt. "Caitlyn Jenner has no real support," she wrote on Twitter. "I don't care about her candidacy. I do care about the ways in which her asinine views will be weaponized against trans people and the ways in which transphobia will go unchecked."

"This is purely a vanity campaign," she added, "and it's incredibly selfish."

Clymer was also quick to point out, however, that Jenner's problematic features are her views and her lack of qualifications, not her gender. Misgendering her or engaging in other transphobic language is not an appropriate response to her candidacy announcement.

If nothing else, Jenner's candidacy offers a good opportunity to talk about how to appropriately discuss transgender people using language that affirms their humanity, even if you can't stand their political stances or personalities.

Also a bit of a head scratcher: Jenner has hired former Trump campaign manager Bard Parscale as an adviser, which would seemingly create a connection between Jenner and Trump, despite Jenner renouncing her support and Trump pivoting further away from supporting transgender rights.

While Jenner is a historic candidate, as a transgender woman running for the governorship of one of the largest states in the country, the majority of responses show that the much-ranted-about concept of "identity politics" is largely overblown. After searching and searching, I found virtually no explicit support for Jenner on social media. She has not garnered the support of the broader LGBTQ+ community (in fact, California's largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization literally said, "hard pass") and it's difficult to imagine a party that is currently pushing anti-trans legislation in states across the country rallying behind a transgender candidate.

Jenner's candidacy is newsworthy because of her fame and noteworthy because she is transgender, but at this point, simple name recognition probably outweighs both her gender identity and her policies in terms of gaining voters. Time will tell, but if this campaign gets off the ground, it will be a surprise.

Stranger things have happened, though. As recent history has taught us, just about anything at all is possible. But whatever happens, and wherever we sit on the political spectrum, let's keep criticisms of Jenner confined to her political views and not her personhood.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.