Caitlyn Jenner has said the number of people openly identifying as transgender is “skyrocketing” at a “disturbing” rate, blaming “indoctrination” and an “oversaturation of the topic.”
Jenner, who ran in a 2021 race to replace California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, but gained just 1 percent of the vote, remains a committed Republican, despite the growing wave of anti-transgender sentiment in the party.
The 1976 Olympic gold medalist, who came out as transgender in 2015, has been an outspoken critic of transgender women competing in sports against other women. Her stance aligns with the views of some conservative commentators.
The Fox News contributor stepped up her efforts in April by announcing the launch of an initiative called Fairness First. The political action committee describes itself as “a big tent movement, non-partisan in nature, with the intention of protecting women and girls in sport—especially in light of recent events with radical gender ideology.”
Oli London, a British influencer who previously identified as transracial, gender neutral and transgender, serves as a spokesperson for Fairness First.
On Tuesday, Jenner, 73, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2017, spoke out against the growing number of people who are identifying as transgender in a series of Twitter posts.
In a since-deleted tweet, conservative YouTuber Blaire White, who is also transgender, wrote: “‘There is a trans genocide!!’ they screamed as the trans population literally skyrockets globally.”
“And skyrocketing at levels we have never seen before!” Jenner said in agreement. “Insane!!! Disturbing in fact!”
Responding to Jenner’s statement, one Twitter user proposed that there were two “likely possibilities: They are causing gender dysphoria in young people through social contagion. They are mis-diagnosing young people with other issues as having gender dysphoria.”
“Agreed—it’s become a type of ‘fix all’ almost,” Jenner wrote back.
“There’s a Munchausen’s by proxy thing going on where mentally [ill] parents and teachers are transferring their need to be seen as special onto their unsuspecting children,” another Twitter user chimed in during the discussion.
“Indoctrination and oversaturation of the topic—led by the radical leftists to destroy the family unit to create bigger govt,” Jenner replied. “I obviously believe trans is real—but very very very rare, not the numbers we are seeing today.”
Later on Tuesday, when Jenner shared a post defending former President Donald Trump amid his mounting legal problems, another Twitter user addressed the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star.
“Don’t you realize that Republicans don’t approve of people like you?” the person wrote. “They are trying to erase you and deny your right to body and identity autonomy.”
“Wrong,” Jenner shot back. “There a few fringe ppl that say trans isn’t real, but that is not the GOP. The GOP and MAGA is the big tent party and believe in common sense principles (no men in women’s sports, parental rights, protecting children, etc.). Sorry we don’t fit your narrative! The left is by far the most exclusionary discriminatory group of ppl out there.”
The number of Gen Zers identifying as transgender is almost double the number of millennials who identify as trans, according to a 2022 survey by Gallup.
Among the previous three generations, Generation Z—those who were born between 1997 and 2004—has the highest percentage of people, 1.9 percent, who say they identify as trans.
Among millennials, 1.0 percent identify as trans, while among Generation X—those born between 1965 and 1980—and baby boomers—born between 1946 and 1964—the number plunges to 0.3 and 0.2, respectively. Among the Silent Generation—born between 1928 and 1945—those identifying as trans are less than 0.05 percent.
The two younger generations—Gen Z and millennials—have been driving the recent change in the recognition and growth of LGBTQ+ identities. The number of American adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or other nonheterosexual identities doubled in the past 10 years, according to Gallup.
But it’s Gen Z that’s really embracing this change. While Gallup’s 2023 survey found that 7.2 percent of U.S. adults identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community, that number goes up to 19.7 percent among Gen Zers. Among millennials, by comparison, 11.2 percent identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or other.
This surge in the number of young people identifying as trans is due to a mix of increased visibility, access to information and acceptance, according to experts.
“Thanks to increases in visibility, representation, and equality, more and more LGBTQ Americans are able to come out and live as our authentic selves,” Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO and president of the LGBTQ+ nonprofit GLAAD, tweeted last year in response to a Gallup survey.
The internet and social media—especially TikTok for Gen Z—have opened up a new world for trans influencers and advocates to talk about their lives and share their stories with others—something that would have been unthinkable for the Silent Generation.
Dylan Mulvaney, a trans influencer who documents her life as a woman on TikTok, counts over 10 million followers on the platform. Last October, she was invited by President Joe Biden to the White House to discuss transgender rights.
However, despite recent progress in the recognition of LGBTQ+ rights and identities, as well as changing behaviors and attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community, trans rights in America have become an increasingly divisive issue.
Starting last month, Bud Light received a backlash after Mulvaney, 26, revealed on Instagram that the company had sent her a personalized beer can as she marked a full year of living as a woman. Amid boycott calls, conservatives have refused to drink the beer, and licensed venues have withdrawn the beer from sale.
The beer brand has since seen a rapid decline in sales in the U.S.—with many of those customers being picked up by competitors, including Miller Lite—and placed two of its top marketing executives on leave.