Caitlyn Jenner will no longer be in the building.
The reality star posted a statement to her website on Wednesday that she would be “declining” an upcoming award from St. John’s Medical Center which was set to be presented at this weekend’s TransNation Film Festival. A petition calling for Jenner’s removal from the event, which cited her support for conservative causes, garnered more than 2,200 signatures.
“I am with you, and I am here to help,” Jenner wrote in response to the backlash.
“In this spirit of unity and love, I’m going to decline the award they so graciously offered me for supporting their mission,” she continued. “I understand that my presence is distracting from the real purpose of the event, which is to celebrate the important and life-saving work of St. John’s. I will continue my commitment to helping marginalized communities through my foundation.”
St. John’s has released its own statement about the controversy.
“We deeply regret that our actions have hurt and divided the transgender community,” the Los Angeles-based medical center said in a press release. “That was not our intention. Our mission has always been to uplift and move our community forward. We originally decided to honor Caitlyn Jenner, due to her support of our Transgender Health Program, when few others were stepping up.”
“However, we hear the concerns of local activists, and we take them very seriously,” St. John’s continues. “Therefore, Caitlyn will not be receiving an award at the Eleganza Ball or attending the event.”
Trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston, who authored a Change.org petition that quickly caught fire on social media, threatened to picket Saturday’s Eleganza night if Jenner were to appear. Preston referred to the announced award, which would have been given to her foundation, as a “terrible mistake.”
“Caitlyn Jenner has been nothing but harmful to the LGBTQ community,” she wrote.
Preston, who publicly confronted Jenner at a Trans Chorus of Los Angeles event in August, pointed to the 67-year-old’s support for Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.
In a 2016 interview with STAT, Jenner claimed that Trump “seems very much behind the LGBTQ community.” Even after the POTUS began to rollback LGBTQ rights following his January inauguration, the Olympian was spotted wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat while driving her convertible around Los Angeles in August. She would later apologize for the fashion faux pas.
Jenner would attempt to walk back her one-time support for Trump after the president signed an executive order calling for a ban on transgender military service and Jeff Sessions attacked trans workplace rights.
After months of foot dragging, she called the current administration the “worst ever” for LGBTQ issues in an interview last week.
Preston believes the overdue mea culpa isn’t enough.
“Caitlyn Jenner’s values and ideology aren’t those that the LGBTQ community, especially trans people, would look for in someone as a ‘representative,’” she wrote in the petition. “When organizations honor Caitlyn Jenner despite the fact that their mission and vision are the antithesis of what Jenner stands for, it expresses tolerance for Caitlyn’s harmful actions, which ultimately breaks their promise to protect and advocate for the vulnerable, at-risk populations they serve.”
In a video recorded during her earlier altercation with Jenner, Preston refers to the gold medalist as a “f**king fraud.”