Caitlyn Jenner’s run for California governor is a ‘vanity joke,’ says trans state senator Sarah McBride

Composite picture of Sarah McBride, left, and Caitlyn Jenner, right.
Delaware state senator Sarah McBride, left, told Insider that Caitlyn Jenner, right, is running a “trans vanity joke campaign.”

  • Caitlyn Jenner, a trans woman, is running in California’s recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • Sarah McBride, the highest-ranking trans official in the US, told Insider that Jenner’s campaign is a “joke.”
  • The Delaware lawmaker went on to say that Jenner poses a “real threat” to young, trans people.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Delaware state senator Sarah McBride, the highest-ranking openly transgender elected official in the US, told Insider that Caitlyn Jenner running in California’s recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom is nothing more than a “joke.”

“I don’t see her talking to voters. I see her talking to far right-wing media. I see her talking to CPAC. I don’t see her talking to Californians,” McBride said.

The Delaware lawmaker told Insider that while transgender individuals running for office are normally positive for political representation, Jenner’s campaign is likely to do more harm than good.

“Caitlyn Jenner running for office is not helpful because I don’t think people perceive her, and this is an accurate perception, as a serious candidate and as a serious person,” McBride explained.

“I don’t think a trans vanity joke campaign, essentially what this is perceived as, is helpful to trans people being seen as fully realized, substantive, nuanced, diverse human beings,” she continued.

Read more: Caitlyn Jenner joins legal battle to block Gavin Newsom from getting a ‘D’ by his name on California’s gubernatorial recall election ballot

Jenner is running as a Republican and publicly supported former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. She has since denounced Trump over his stance on LGBTQ rights.

But some of her political positions have angered LGBTQ advocates. For example, the 77-year-old former athlete faced criticism for saying that transgender girls shouldn’t participate in girls’ sports teams, Insider’s Connor Perrett and Bill Bostock reported.

“I think someone who is endorsing anti-trans policies poses a real threat to young, trans people and to the people who have been targeted by these anti-trans bills that have been proliferated around the country,” McBride said. “So no, I don’t see her candidacy as a positive.”

Jenner is a longshot candidate for California governor. A UC Berkeley/Los Angeles Times poll of 10,289 California voters in May showed she only had 6 percent support.

Insider reached out to Jenner for comment, but she did not immediately respond to the request.

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Transphobic abuse hurled at Caitlyn Jenner at CPAC conference, called a ‘sick freak’ and deadnamed

Caitlyn Jenner.
Caitlyn Jenner.

  • Caitlyn Jenner was hit with transphobic abuse while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference.
  • A heckler filmed himself repeatedly deadnaming her and calling her a “sick freak.”
  • The former reality TV star is running in California’s recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Caitlyn Jenner was harassed and hit with transphobic abuse while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas.

A heckler filmed himself approaching the former reality TV star, who is running for governor of California, and repeatedly deadnaming her and calling her a “sick freak.”

Calling a transgender person by their birth name is known as deadnaming, and it can be a stressful and triggering experience.

A video of the abuse was posted to Twitter by the account Patriot Takes, which monitors right-wing media. The identity of the attacker who filmed the video is not clear.

The video shows the heckler approaching Jenner while she poses for photos in the lobby of the Hilton Anatole Hotel.

“Hey, Bruce. Bruce, what do you think about the stuff that they’re teaching in schools regarding the LGBTQ?”, the heckler shouts at her.

As Jenner walks away, he pursues her and says, “About Jesus Christ, Bruce. Don’t forget about Jesus.”

Jenner continues to ignore the attacker, and as she exits the hotel and heads towards a waiting car, the heckler says “look at that sick freak.”

Caitlyn Jenner is in Dallas to attend CPAC, an annual gathering of top US conservatives. The former reality TV star, a vocal Republican, runs in California’s recall election against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In her first press conference since announcing her candidacy, Jenner recently said, “I am a private citizen of the state of California, I have every right in the world to be able to run for this office and I am on the Republican side. Obviously, I’m on the Republican side.”

“But don’t put me in this box, like if you’re in this box of ‘you’re a Republican, you have to think this way,” she said.

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Department of Veterans Affairs ‘moving ahead’ to provide gender-affirming surgery to transgender veterans: report

Denis McDonough
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough speaks during a press briefing at the White House, March 4, 2021.

The Department of Veterans Affairs will modify its healthcare policy to cover gender-affirming surgery for veterans who are transgender, CNN first reported.

A spokesperson for the Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed the news to CNN. The agency did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment Saturday.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough is expected to make the announcement at a Pride month event at the Orlando Vet Center in Florida on Saturday, the spokesperson told CNN.

The announcement will mark the first step in what could be a lengthy process that will involve making changes to existing federal policy.

“There are several steps to take, which will take time,” McDonough prepared remarks state, according to the outlet. “But we are moving ahead, methodically, because we want this important change in policy to be implemented in a manner that has been thoroughly considered to ensure that the services made available to Veterans meet VA’s rigorous standards for quality health care.”

There are about 134,000 transgender veterans in the US, according to an estimate from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Gender-affirming surgery has “been proven effective at mitigating serious health conditions, including suicidality, substance abuse, and dysphoria,” a VA Department spokesperson told CNN.

“We are taking the first necessary steps to expand VA’s care to include gender confirmation surgery – thus allowing transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side,” McDonough is expected to say later Saturday, according to CNN.

Gender-affirming surgery includes procedures that make a person’s “physical body matches their gender identity,” according to the Cleveland Clinic. Procedures included facial reconstructive surgery, “top” surgery, and “bottom” surgery.

Just one gender-affirming surgery, like vaginoplasty or “bottom” surgery for a trans woman, can cost over $50,000, as Insider previously reported.

As CNN reported, the current VA health insurance package allows trans people to seek mental health counseling and to receive hormone therapy but it does not pay for gender-affirming surgeries.

McDonough in February ordered a review of the agency’s policies relating to trans people to ensure “transgender Veterans and employees do not face discrimination on the basis of their gender identity and expression.”

The Trump administration sought to ban transgender people from serving in the US Military, though the Biden administration rescinded that policy in January.

“Transgender veterans deserve equal access to medically necessary and life-saving healthcare, including gender confirmation surgery,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement Saturday. “This news is not only an overdue victory for transgender veterans, but the latest move from Sec. McDonough and the VA in affirming LGBTQ veterans.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Department of Justice says anti-trans state laws targeting children should be thrown out

Trans rights
People take part in rally outside New York’s Stonewall Inn in 2017.

  • The DOJ issued two statements of interest in lawsuits involving the rights of transgender children.
  • The department argued that recent Arkansas laws restricting trans medical care for children violate the 14th Amendment.
  • It also said West Virginia’s law preventing trans women from playing on women’s sports teams in schools violates Title IX.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) came down against state laws restricting the rights of transgender kids, weighing in for the first time in lawsuits seeking to remove the laws.

In April, West Virginia adopted a new law prohibiting trans women from participating in interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club sports teams sponsored by public schools and universities.

The DOJ argued in its statement of interest that the law violates Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment which it says does “not permit West Virginia to categorically exclude transgender girls from participating in single-sex sports restricted to girls.”

Arkansas passed similar legislation as West Virginia back in April as well, but also passed a law that prevents trans children from accessing gender-affirming medical care and penalizes doctors treating trans children.

Here, the DOJ argued the law violates the Equal Protection Clause. The department said it supports a preliminary injunction to block the law from taking effect until the lawsuit ends.

A statement of interest from the DOJ is akin to an amicus filing in law where someone takes a position in a case to show support. Historically, the DOJ has used statements of interest in cases involving civil rights and liberties.

Arkansas is the only state to pass a law restricting trans children’s healthcare but isn’t the first state to attempt it: both Texas and Florida state legislatures tried and failed to enact the restrictions.

While a DOJ statement of interest can show the federal government’s opinion on a case, they don’t necessarily mean the courts will address either case any sooner. The laws in both Arkansas and West Virginia will remain intact without a preliminary injunction from a judge.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Florida governor banned transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports on first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference in December 2020 at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports in high school and college on the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

The “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which was introduced by GOP state Sen. Travis Hutson in February, designates teams “on the basis of students’ biological sex at birth,” meaning transgender girls whose birth certificate says “male” as their biological sex are not allowed to participate in girls’ sports teams.

The law also expressly prohibits those whose “biological sex” on their birth certificate denotes male from participating in girls’ sports, but those whose “biological sex” is noted as female can play in boys’ sports.

When asked if there was a meaning behind signing the bill on June 1 ahead of its June 12 deadline, DeSantis said: “It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness and women’s sports.” The legislation goes into effect on July 1.

“We believe in the state of Florida protecting the fairness and integrity of women’s athletics,” DeSantis said at an event at the Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville. “I can tell you that in Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports.”

Supporters of the legislation say the act eliminates an unfair biological advantage by prohibiting transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports.

“We all know that men are stronger than women,” GOP state Sen. Kelli Stargel said at the Jacksonville event, which also featured a video of a track athlete who sued over transgender girls competing in high school girls’ sports.

Stargel, who championed the sports legislation, said in response: “When you’re looking at that video, it’s evident the woman, the transgender woman who competed, or self-identified woman, ran very differently than the others in the competition. It’s physiologically different. Men are stronger, they have bigger lung capacity, stronger muscles.”

Critics – including Stargel’s daughter Laura – said the legislation discriminates against transgender athletes and could have a negative impact on their mental and emotional wellbeing.

“Excluding transgender children from sports will exacerbate feelings of discrimination and severely impact their mental and physical health,” Laura Stargel wrote in an op-ed published in the Orlando Sentinel.

“I played sports all throughout middle, high school and college,” she added. “Not once did I stop to consider what gender my teammates were assigned at birth.”

Democratic lawmakers in the state also condemned DeSantis’ decision to sign the bill.

“This is yet another hate-driven attack from the governor and Republican legislators, and it’s insulting that they’ve staged this morning’s photo-op on the first day of Pride Month,” state Sen. Shevrin Jones said. “At the end of the day, transgender kids are just kids.”

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who became Florida’s first openly gay Latinx legislator, tweeted in response: “Appalling. First day of LGBTQ Pride Month and @GovRonDeSantis signs SB 1028 which bans trans kids from school sports.”

“FHSAA has allowed trans kids to participate in FL since 2013 with ZERO problems,” Smith continued. “This fuels transphobia and puts vulnerable kids at risk for no good reason.”

The Senate passed the anti-transgender sports bill in April, and it initially had a deadline to be signed into law by DeSantis on June 12 – the same day as the five-year anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, that left 49 people dead.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Transgender kids in Texas can still play on teams that match their gender identity after legislators fail to advance bill before midnight deadline

Demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and Texas House, Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Austin, Texas.
Demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and Texas House on May 20, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

  • Texas’ 87th legislative session comes to a close on Sunday, May 31.
  • Republican lawmakers tried to advance a bill restricting transgender children from competing on teams that match their gender identity.
  • Democratic state legislators quashed the bill on Tuesday night by stalling until the midnight deadline.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Democratic state representatives cheered with transgender flags in hand after the midnight deadline for Senate bills to receive a second reading passed, all but destroying any chance of the anti-transgender youth in sports bill becoming law in this legislative session.

Texas Senate Bill 29 was one of 12 bills that discriminate against trans people that the state legislature proposed in the two-year legislative session and one of many across the nation that aims to prevent trans children from playing on sports teams that correlate with their gender identity.

The failure to hit the midnight deadline was not a mistake. Democrats spent much of Tuesday “chubbing,” or procedurally delaying the advancement of the bill via prolonged speeches, questions, and other ways of slowing down House procedure.

“Ding dong the bill is dead,” Rep. Erin Zwiener posted on Twitter after being a part of the Democratic faction aimed at stopping the bill.

Democrats say the trans athlete bill shouldn’t have even made it to the House floor

The state Democratic Party was successful in stopping the legislation from advancing, but the bill only got to the House floor after public education committee leader and Democrat Rep. Harold Dutton revived it in committee. The bill previously failed to pass after Dutton declined to vote, but after one of his own bills was shuttered in committee on a technicality, he brought SB29 back for another committee vote.

“The bill that was killed last night affected far more children than this bill ever will,” Dutton said. “So as a consequence, the chair moves that Senate Bill 29 as substituted be reported favorably to the full House with the recommendation that it do pass.”

Dutton has since been attacked for the action by his Democratic colleagues and trans activists – The Texas Tribune reported that both groups have accused him of retaliation, a label he denies. He told the outlet that he brings every bill up for a vote in committee if it has the necessary support.

Despite the explanation, Dutton’s actions as the public committee head reportedly flustered and frustrated his fellow Democrats who thought having a Democrat leading the committee could prevent deleterious legislation from leaving the committee.

“I thought having a chair that was a Democrat meant that things would be more accelerated and more progressive,” Rep. Diego Bernal told the Texas Tribune. “I was wrong.”

There are still a few ways for Texas legislators to advance the anti-trans legislation

State Democrats may have successfully halted SB29 in its current form, but the contents of the bill could still end up in another moving bill if drafted as an amendment, though none have been added as of yet.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday morning in a tweet asked Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session, which would bring lawmakers back to Austin to vote on the trans sports bill among other legislation that was postponed on Tuesday night.

According to the Texas Constitution, the legislature in special sessions can only vote on the specific subjects designated by the governor.

Some Republican governors, such as Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, vetoed similar bills blocking transgender youth from participating in sports after condemnation from the NCAA and meetings with trans children. Abbott, however, previously said that he would sign the bill if it came to his desk, though it’s unclear whether the topic is pressing enough to him for a special session.

If the governor does not call for a special session or does not include the anti-trans legislation, then the state legislature will need to wait until January 10, 2023, for the beginning of the 88th legislative session.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tennessee governor approves law that bans transgender youth from getting gender-confirming hormone treatment

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.

  • Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a law that bans hormone therapy for transgender youth.
  • The law blocks doctors from providing pre-pubescent minors with gender-confirming treatment.
  • Tennessee has already approved two other anti-trans bills targeting businesses and schools that accommodate them.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tennessee governor Bill Lee has signed a third anti-trans bill in less than a week, this time banning transgender youths from receiving hormone therapy.

The new law, signed Wednesday, blocks doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment to pre-pubescent minors, according to the Associated Press.

The law is the latest legislation to be approved that targets transgender people and those who accommodate them in Tennessee.

Earlier this week Lee signed a law that will force businesses to publicly post a “policy” sign showing they allow transgender people to use bathrooms the match their gender identity.

Last week he signed a separate bill that prohibits transgender students and schools staff members from using bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson says debate over the anti-trans bill he vetoed is about ‘the future’ of the GOP

Asa Hutchinson
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at a news conference at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015.

  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson said discussion about the bill targeting trans youth represented “the future” of the GOP.
  • While Hutchinson vetoed the bill, the Arkansas state legislature quickly overturned his decision.
  • Hutchinson has received blowback from Republicans, including Trump, for his veto.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, said Sunday the bill targeting healthcare for transgender youth he vetoed last week went “too far” and said the debate over such legislation is key in determining the direction of the GOP.

Hutchinson has been targeted by his own party for vetoing the legislation, including by former President Donald Trump who in a statement called the Arkansas governor a “lightweight RINO.”

“‘Bye-bye Asa,’ that’s the end of him!” Trump said.

But in the interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Hutchinson appeared to laugh off the former president’s comments when confronted with the comments made by him and other Republicans.

“Any time you go against the grain, you’re going to get that kind of blowback,” Hutchinson told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Read: Every anti-trans bill US lawmakers introduced this year, from banning medication to jail time for doctors

As Insider’s Canela López previously reported, Hutchinson last week vetoed the “Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act,HB 1570. The Arkansas state legislature, dominated by Republicans, overrode Hutchinson’s veto the next day.

The law bans doctors from prescribing trans youth under the age of 18 puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or gender-affirming surgeries. Doctors who provide this care to patients could be charged with a felony under the law.

Advocates warned that the bill posed health risks to trans youth and set a dangerous precedent leading to more anti-trans legislation across the US.

“I think it’s healthy for our society, I think it’s helpful for our party to have that kind of vigorous debate about an important issue. And, to me, this is about the future of our party,” Hutchinson said Sunday.

“Are we going to be a narrow party that expresses ourself in intolerant ways, or are we going to be a broad-based party that shows conservative principles, but also compassion in dealing with some of the most difficult issues that parents face, that individuals face?” he added.

Hutchinson said the legislation went “too far” and said he needed to “remind his wonderful Republican colleagues” that the GOP platform prioritizes a “limited role of government.”

Hutchinson also this year signed another piece of anti-trans legislation into law, prohibiting trans girls from playing on girls sports teams. Advocates said the bill targeted a problem that doesn’t actually exist, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette noted.

Republicans have introduced a wide range of bills targeting trans rights this year in 28 states, Insider previously reported. Bills range from legislation restricting which sports teams trans youth can play on to ones that regulate medical care for trans people.

“I did sign the protection for girls in sports, which says biological males cannot compete on a girls team,” Hutchinson said. “To me, that’s a fundamental way of making sure girls sports can prosper.”

“These are tough areas, tough areas,” he added. “And what we have to do is, we can debate them on conservative principles, but let’s show compassion and tolerance and understanding as we do that. And that’s the simple message that I think is important for our party.”

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Arkansas becomes first state to pass bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to trans youth

trans supreme court.JPG
  • Arkansas passed a bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to trans youth.
  • The Senate passed the bill Monday in a 28-7 vote. The House passed the bill earlier this month.
  • The legislation now goes to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk to be signed.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arkansas became the first state to pass a bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender youth following a vote in the state Senate on Monday.

HB 1570, the “Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act,” prohibits trans youth from accessing health care and insurance coverage for gender-affirming care. The bill passed 28-7 in the state Senate. The state House passed the bill earlier this month.

The bill would prohibit doctors from offering gender confirming horomone treatment or surgery to trans youth. Doctors would also be unable to refer minors to other providers for treatment.

The legislation now goes to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk for signature. He has not publicly said whether he supports the legislation. The governor has five days, not including Sunday, to sign or veto the bill before it becomes law.

If signed, the bill would take effect this summer.

Opponents say if the legislation is enacted, it would be the first prohibition of its kind in the US. LGBTQ advocacy groups, child welfare organizations, and medical professionals have criticized the legislation.

Medical best practice guidelines from the Endocrine Society, Child Mind Institute, and American Psychological Association all recommend that states provide gender-affirming care for trans children. If Hutchinson signs the bill, Arkansas will became the first state to criminalize the vital health services.

Studies have shown children who are unable to access gender-affirming care experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide than trans youth with supportive doctors and families. A 2020 study published in Pediatrics found the earlier transgender youth get care, the less likely they are to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts.

Getting gender-affirming care before puberty can slow or stop some of the changes that are more difficult to reverse like voice deepening, hair growth, and fat distribution.

Arkansas’s HB1570 comes amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures across the country this year. Insider previously reported that 28 states are voting on anti-trans legislation in 2021.

Arkansas has also proposed two bills that would prevent trans youth from participating in school sports: SB354 and SJR16

This story is breaking. Check back for updates.

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Trump rants in CPAC speech that women’s sports ‘will die’ if trans athletes are allowed to compete

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • During his speech at CPAC, Trump took aim at transgender athletes competing in women’s sports.
  • “If this does not change, women’s sports as we know it will die,” Trump said.
  • Many US states are weighing legislation that would restrict transgender youth from competing in sports. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

During his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, former President Donald Trump said women’s sports will “die” if trans athletes are allowed to compete.

“Joe Biden and the Democrats are even pushing policies that would destroy women sports,” Trump said, apparently in reference to the Equality Act, which seeks to expand protections for the LGBTQ community and was passed in the House last week.

“A lot of new records are being broken in women’s sports – hate to say that ladies – but got a lot of new records that are being shattered.”

While referring to weightlifting, Trump said “every ounce is like a big deal for many years,” as he pretended to lift an invisible bar. “All of a sudden somebody comes along and beats it by a hundred pounds,” he said.

Trump continued: “Young girls and women are incensed that they are now being forced to compete against those who are biological males. It’s not good for women. it’s not good for women’s sports which worked for so long and so hard to get to where they are.”

“What coach, as an example, wants to recruit a young woman to compete if her record can easily be broken by somebody who was born a man?” Trump asked.

He added, “If this does not change, women’s sports as we know it will die.”

Trump spoke during the final day of the conservative conference in Orlando, Florida, in his first public speech since leaving the White House last month.

Many US states are currently considering legislation that would restrict the participation of transgender youth in sports.

However, such bills could contradict an executive order signed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office that reversed Trump’s definition of gender as the one a person was assigned at birth.

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