In a recent outburst of support for anti-trans sentiments, media personality, and pro-Trump figure Caitlyn Jenner endorsed GOP 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s striking attack on transgender rights, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the foreign policy of the Biden administration. Jenner, once a candidate for California governor under the Republican banner and an Olympic gold medalist, seems to have joined Haley in the GOP’s fervor for disseminating rhetoric against “communists.”
“The Chinese Communist Party is building missiles and we’re arguing over gender pronouns. China is laughing at us,” Haley, Trump’s former Ambassador to the United Nations, stated on Wednesday. Incredibly, her words insinuated that the Chinese military outclasses its American counterpart, while simultaneously launching an attack on transgender individuals.
In response to Haley’s controversial remarks, Jenner gave her endorsement in a one-word tweet filled with enthusiasm: “Amen!!!!!!”
This kind of rhetoric is unfortunately not new to either Jenner or Haley. Both have partnered in the past to discuss “LGBT issues worldwide,” as Jenner claimed in 2017 when Haley served as Trump’s UN Ambassador. However, their words and actions seem to tell a different story, with both making a dramatic shift to the right, even on issues concerning LGBTQ rights.
This Friday, Haley is set to attend the second annual national summit of Moms for Liberty, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes as an anti-government extremist organization. The group, which has connections to Florida’s GOP governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, is known for its attacks on the LGBTQ community, particularly targeting LGBTQ children.
Some have responded sharply to Haley’s comments. Edward Wong, a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times, who recently returned from Beijing, countered her narrative: “I can tell you I didn’t have a single conversation with anyone about the use of pronouns in the US or about any American ‘culture war’ issues.”
Democratic strategist Dante Atkins questioned the basis of Haley’s argument, asking, “Would Nikki Haley like to compare the budget for our missiles to the budget for China’s missiles? Because…she knows this is a lie, but Republicans keep on doing the ‘our military is weak because of gender’ thing.”
Quinn Yeargain, a law professor, pointed out the inherent contradiction in Haley’s claim, saying, “You’re arguing over pronouns; the rest of us are just living our lives.”
Clearly, as Jenner cheers on the anti-trans rhetoric and while Haley speaks at the Moms for Liberty summit, the LGBTQ community, allies, and supporters are left wondering about the widening gap between their public declarations on LGBTQ issues and their actions that contradict the values of inclusivity and acceptance.