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.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Fox 5 / YouTube

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But at about the 1:50 mark, he was interrupted by an unaccompanied puppy running down the street towards the news crew.

The dog had a collar but there was no owner in sight.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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