First, Caitlyn Jenner claimed she wanted to be a “trans ambassador” to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) during his presidential campaign. Then she cast her ballot for President Trump in the November election. And now, Jenner — the famed transgender icon and one of the few high-profile celebrities to throw staunch support behind the Republican commander in chief — says she has been meeting with members of Trump’s administration to discuss issues of significance to the LGBT community.
During an appearance Thursday on the ABC talk show “The View,” Jenner was asked if she’d had the opportunity to sit down with any members of Trump’s administration to talk to them about the LGBT community. She said yes — but she wouldn’t name names.
“I can’t talk about it,” she said. “I try to keep it quiet.”
But then she talked about it anyway: “I’ve been to the Department of Education,” she offered. “I’ve been everywhere.”
She added that she planned to meet with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley to discuss “LGBT issues worldwide,” Jenner said. “We have our problems here and our issues here, but if you look on an international basis, they’d chop my head off in some countries.”
Haley’s history on LGBT issues is mixed. In 2012, as governor of South Carolina, she upheld her state constitution’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. In 2016, she responded to President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address with a statement noting that Republicans must respect the “differences in modern families,” while also emphasizing the need to preserve religious liberty. Last year, she declined to support a bill that would require that trans people use the public bathrooms corresponding with the gender listed on their birth certificates; and in April, she issued a rebuke of Russia following reports that Chechen police were detaining and killing gay people.
Jenner, meanwhile, has found herself facing a strained relationship with the very community she aims to represent. Many prominent LGBT activists openly condemn the GOP’s policies on social issues and civil rights, and Jenner’s history of defending Trump and other Republican politicians has frequently made her a target of sharp criticism.
“It was easy to come out as trans,” Jenner told a crowd at an event in Cleveland last year. “It was harder to come out as a Republican.”