Confused about Caitlyn Jenner's politics? Don't be.
Though she attended President Donald Trump's inauguration (much to her friends' dismay), she wants to be clear that she doesn't agree with everything he—or the Republican party—believes. "Here's the deal: yes, I have always had views that lean more towards the Republican party when it comes to politics [as in] less government, believing in the Constitution and all that kind of stuff. But my loyalties and my fights are not going to be with the Republican party," the 67-year-old tells People. "My loyalties are with my community and fighting for my community."
After Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee in June, Jenner told STAT she believed he would be better for women than Hillary Clinton. "Everybody looks at the Democrats as being better with these issues. But Trump seems to be very much for women. He seems very much behind the LGBT community because of what happened in North Carolina with the bathroom issue. He backed the LGBT community. But in Trump's case, there's a lot more unknowns," she argued. "With Hillary, you pretty much know what you're gonna get with the LGBT community."
As a prominent and influential member of the transgender community, Jenner wants to use her fame to advocate for the LGBTQ population. "With the Republicans, I keep a very close eye on all the things that are happening. There's North Carolina (anti-discrimination measures), we've got SB6 ['bathroom bill'] coming up in Texas, all of these things," says Caitlyn, who came out as transgender in April 2015. "My fight is for my community and the next generation coming up."
Jenner, who readily admits she still has a lot to learn about the LGBTQ community, adds that she feels "very blessed to be able to have a platform where hopefully I can make a difference."
If that means distancing herself from Trump, so be it. In February, the Trump administration withdrew Barack Obama-era guidance on transgender bathroom use in public schools—and she recorded a video message and addressed the United States commander-in-chief directly "I have a message for President Trump, from one Republican to another. This is a disaster. And you can still fix it. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community," she said. "Call me."
Jenner also wants to set the record straight on another political issue.
"I am 100 percent behind gay marriage," she tells Diane Sawyer in a 20/20 interview airing tonight at 10 p.m. "Let's clear that up right now." Two years ago, Jenner appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and called herself a "traditionalist" who'd always viewed marriage as between "a man and a woman." She said her position on same-sex marriage changed since transitioning. "As time has gone on, I think a lot of people on this issue have really changed their thinking here to, 'I don't ever want to stand in front of anybody's happiness.' That's not my job, OK?" she said at the time. "If that word, 'marriage,' is really, really that important to you, I can go with it."
Ellen DeGeneres later appeared on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show and explained why she—and many members of the LGBTQ community—were puzzled by Jenner's comments. "I said, 'You're wanting people to understand and accept you—this is like, really confusing to people. And you still have a judgment about gay people and marriage,'" she said. "She goes, 'Well, if the word 'marriage' is that important.' It is. That's the word. We want the same thing."
In response, Jenner released a statement via her website explaining her comments and her current stance on the matter. "Like many people, there was a time when I didn't realize how important it is for gay couples to have the right to get married. But after hearing from my gay friends and learning more about the hardships they faced because of discrimination," she explained, "it became clear to me that everyone should be able to marry the person they love."
Jenner, who is promoting a memoir, will appear on ABC's Good Morning America Monday.