Not all Republicans are standing behind President Donald Trump’s plan to overturn protections that allow transgender students to choose the school bathroom or facility that corresponds to their gender identity.
The reversal of the guidance issued by former President Barack Obama less than a year ago was announced earlier this week. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump’s view is that “this is a states’ rights issue.”
Protests and backlash across the country ensued, including outside the White House and New York’s historic LGBTQ landmark, the Stonewall Inn.
After remaining quiet for the first 24 hours after the reversal was announced, Caitlyn Jenner — the former Olympian, reality star and one of the world's most visible transgender faces — spoke out via Trump’s favorite outlet: Twitter.
In a short video posted to the social media site on Thursday night, Jenner spoke first to the country’s transgender kids.
“You're winning. I know it doesn't feel like it today or every day, but you're winning,” she began. “Very soon, we will win full freedom nationwide, and it's going to be with bipartisan support.”
Jenner then asked that they contact the National Center for Transgender Equality to let “Washington hear you loud and clear.”
She next addressed bullies: “You’re sick. And because you're weak, you pick on kids, you pick on women or anyone else you think is vulnerable. Apparently even becoming the attorney general isn't enough to cure some people of their insecurities,” she said, taking a direct shot at Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
According to three Republicans familiar with discussions about the transgender protections within Trump’s administration, who were cited by The New York Times, the protections repeal pitted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Sessions.
DeVos initially did not want to approve the move in fear of the possible harm it could cause to transgender students, the anonymous Republicans told the Times. Sessions, who has long contested having the rights of the LGBTQ community expanded, went to Trump, who told her to side with Sessions, and the protections were subsequently overturned.
‘FROM ONE REPUBLICAN TO ANOTHER’
Jenner had one more person she wanted to address at the end of her Twitter video: The president whose inauguration she attended last month.
“From, well, one Republican to another: This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me,” she said.