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Caitlyn Jenner denounces Trump, and some ask what what took so long

Caitlyn Jenner arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March 2018.
Caitlyn Jenner arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in March 2018. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

The headline on Caitlyn Jenner’s Washington Post op-ed essentially told the whole story.

“I thought Trump would help trans people,” Jenner’s headline said. “I was wrong.”

But the op-ed didn’t quite answer what many were asking on social media: Why now?

Jenner’s complete reversal on Donald Trump on Thursday came after Jenner — a reality television star and Olympic gold medalist — had endorsed Trump’s run for the White House in 2016. Her support for the Republican nominee, which came not long after Jenner completed her high-profile coming out as a transgender woman, upset some in the LGBTQ community.

The reality star and transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner, who has been denounced for her politics by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, visited a high school in Brooklyn with Nicholas Kristof to meet some of her critics.

Jenner said in her op-ed that she had hoped she could work “within the party and the Trump administration to shift the minds of those who most needed shifting.”

Her op-ed aimed to admit that her earlier support was a “mistake.”

“The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president,” Jenner wrote. “The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity.”

It wasn’t exactly an apology for her previous stance; but if it had been, plenty of observers on social media wouldn’t have accepted it.

“I’m glad Caitlyn Jenner is coming around, but damn,” one Twitter user wrote. “Banning Muslims, separating children from their parents, sexually harassing women and calling for violence against journalists (which came to life) didn’t do it? Sorry, you don’t get a gold star for this.”

Others were less sanguine.

Her turnaround on Trump even drew comparisons to those who oppose vaccines.

At least one person suggested it was an “I told you so” moment — though not a very fun one.

And some just told Jenner to put her money where her mouth is.

Jenner cited a recently reported Trump policy change in the op-ed as she explained why she reversed course on supporting the president.

“The recently leaked Department of Health and Human Services memo that suggests — preposterously and unscientifically — that the government ought to link gender to one’s genitalia at birth is just one more example in a pattern of political attacks,” Jenner said. “It’s clear these policies have come directly from Trump, and they have been sanctioned, passively or actively, by the Republicans by whose continued support he governs.”

Jenner wrote that Trump had earlier pushed for policies such as a ban on transgender service members and a “rollback of Obama-era protections for trans schoolchildren,” but she did not explain why those moments didn’t inspire her to denounce the president.

During those earlier transgender policy changes, Jenner was known to push back on the president.

But until now, Jenner had not issued such an all-out condemnation of the president.

Jenner ended the essay by writing about what she planned to do next.

“I need to listen more to the members of the LGBTQ community and to learn more. I need to better use my voice, my privilege and my foundation to advocate and support our community,” Jenner wrote. “I will still work with anyone who is committed to help our community.”

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