Many in the LGBTQ community expressed dismay, even outrage, this week after viewing the first two episodes of I Am Cait season two, when our happy road trip bumped up against deep-seated political beliefs.
Friends can disagree. And in this historic primary season—fraught with anger, fear, and resentment—friends WILL disagree, LOUDLY.
It's OK. While our thoughts and emotions are engaged in the trans civil rights movement, let's keep our heads and our humanity. Caitlyn Jenner is a lifelong Republican who is not likely to support Hillary Clinton. But in the last year during her public transition, Caitlyn has proven herself an ally by absorbing the kind of public criticism few of us could endure, even from the friends who chose to accompany her, and to educate her, on her journey.
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Not only are many of us on the road trip Democrats, we consider Hillary Clinton an icon of the human rights movement and our best possible political ally to stop the dangerous backlash against our recent gains. She supported trans rights long before it was politically advantageous and took no public credit for it. Hillary has withstood a particularly personal and nasty misogyny her entire career, and she's still standing strong.
The world has been watching both Caitlyn and Hillary for decades. They are both champions for LGBTQ rights. They're not perfect people and I don't always agree with them, but I admire their courage tremendously.
So let's all take a deep breath. Let's not feed into the fierce rhetoric that is destructive to the greater cause. Let's have these conversations with respect. Let's appreciate what we've achieved and retain the righteous willpower to achieve more.
In her 1995 speech given in Beijing at the United Nations 4th World Conference on Women, Hillary famously stated, "Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely, and the right to be heard."
The world is still watching—I Am Cait airs in 120 countries. Together our voices can be heard: transgender rights are human rights once and for all.