A petition is calling for Caitlyn Jenner to be removed from the list of honorees at an upcoming transgender film festival.
TransNation Festival, a three-day event showcasing films that spotlight trans narratives, will host Jenner for an Oct. 21 gala in which her foundation will be honored among other “trailblazers in the trans community.” More than 1,100 people have signed onto a Change.org petition calling that recognition a “terrible mistake,” pointing to the reality star’s one-time support of Donald Trump.
“Caitlyn Jenner has been nothing but harmful to the LGBTQ community,” writes petitioner Ashlee Marie Preston, a trans activist based in Los Angeles.
Preston adds that the former gold medalist has lent her support to “an administration that has aggressively attacked transgender children, service members in the armed forces, and has reversed civil protections for transgender people which were implemented by President Obama.”
Although Jenner recently referred to the Trump administration as the “worst ever” for LGBTQ rights, she stumped for the businessman-turned-politician during the presidential race.
Jenner told STAT in a June 2016 interview that Trump “seems very much behind the LGBTQ community,” pointing to his comments on the anti-trans bathroom bill passed last year in North Carolina. After coming out against House Bill 2, the then-GOP nominee quickly reversed his stance, saying that the decision on where transgender people pee should be left up to states and local communities to decide.
But Preston claims that it’s too little, too late.
“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 writes. “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.”
If Jenner’s name isn’t taken off the list of honorees, Preston has called for the festival’s Eleganza night to be protested. The event will be held on Saturday night at the Cicada Club in downtown Los Angeles.
The 33-year-old has a record of calling out the world’s most famous transgender Republican. Preston made headlines in August after confronting Jenner at a Trans Chorus of Los Angeles event in which she called the Olympian a “f***ing fraud,” and a video of the face-off subsequently went viral.
“It’s time we did something about this once and for all,” Preston said of continuing to protest Jenner’s conservative politics.
The TransNation Festival did not respond to comment prior to publication time, but trans community members largely have stood behind Preston’s call to protest the gala. Angelica Ross, star of the Emmy-nominated webseries Her Story, says that Jenner has “proven she cannot and quite frankly doesn’t want to be accountable to the community.”
“Just because you identify as something doesn’t mean you automatically have a community, that is something you must build like any relationship,” Ross tells INTO in an email.
The petition is currently less than 400 signatures away from its goal of 1,500.