Caitlyn Jenner stirred up controversy last week when she was photographed praying with anti-LGBT pastor Ed Young at a children’s pageant for his Houston megachurch.
Some people praised Jenner – who was in town filming footage for her reality TV show “I Am Cait” – for facing down Young’s hateful rhetoric. Trans activist Kate Bornstein tweeted that she was proud of Jenner.
— Kate Bornstein (@katebornstein) December 18, 2015
But critics took to social media to criticize her for meeting with Young – pastor at Second Baptist Church – saying that the event was staged for publicity and offered little in the way of diversity.
Houston trans activist Monica Roberts was irked that she heard about Jenner’s visit on TV news, and that most of the people the former Olympian and Kardashian patriarch talked with were white and from outside the city. Via her blog Transgriot:
The problem I have with it along with many of our allies is that the taping had no Houston trans representation, and especially Houston trans people of color leaders to discuss on camera an issue that we have been all in about and are the experts at discussing in HERO. In Dee Dee Watters and my cases, we have been fighting to pass our human rights ordinance since January 2014.
And yeah, beside this being my hometown, we also have a diverse crew of kick ass trans activists and leaders that your I Am Cait viewers should have been able to get to know., but because of your (or your producers) lack of vanillacentric privileged vision, that won't happen.
Young helped defeat a non-discrimination ordinance that would have protected 15 categories of people, including LGBTs, from discrimination. Young called the HERO law “deceptive and deadly,” according to FOX 26, and was front and center in leading opposition, framing the issue as a matter of separate bathroom facilities, even with fellow Southern Baptists.
Young himself didn’t seem to shy away from the attention that Jenner’s visit meant for his church. His son tweeted a photo of Young, Jenner and others praying after the children’s Christmas show.
In late November, LGBT activists – including Ray Hill and a group of trans activists – staged a polite protest at Young's church.
During her Houston stop, Jenner attended a unity event and met with the mother of a transgender son to talk about how the failure of HERO will make trans people more susceptible to discrimination in the city. On Thursday, Jenner also dined at Hugo’s on Westheimer in Montrose.
Barbara Walters just named Jenner her Most Fascinating Person of the Year, but the athlete-turned-reality-star has offended many in the trans community since she came out in March.
Criticized for voting Republican, she also drew the ire of trans activists when she told BuzzFeed, “The hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear,” she responded.
In her own blog, Jenner wrote earlier this month that she tries to do and say the right thing, but will inevitably offend some people.
I am guessing this is probably not the last time I will say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way. I promise to keep learning, and to try to be more articulate in the future. We have a lot of hard work to do. I am looking forward to doing it together.
[top image via]