“It was easy to come out as trans. It was harder to come out as Republican,” transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner said on Wednesday morning.
Jenner spoke at the conservative pro-LGBT American Unity Fund brunch in Cleveland, alongside elected officials and other LGBT activists. The event was meant to showcase conservative support for LGBT issues, though it was not affiliated with the Republican National Convention, also being held in Cleveland this week.
Jenner offered President Obama and the Democrats credit for their work on LGBT rights.
“I get it, the Democratic Party does a better job when it comes to the LGBT community, the trans community, all that kind of stuff,” Jenner said. “And Obama actually has been very good from that standpoint, with just recently letting trans people serve openly in the military. I think that’s a very good step for our community, for equal rights.”
Jenner said she has been disappointed in the GOP platform for years, but she won’t give up hope.
“I think our best move to get back to a constitutional government is in the Republican Party,” she said. “I won’t give up hope on it.”
Her speech comes at a time when the party is deeply divided on LGBT issues and transgender bathroom access. The party platform announced last week is strictly pro-traditional marriage, and delegates refused to include any language condemning anti-gay discrimination.
Jenner added that she hasn’t had any issues with bathroom access herself.
“It just so happens that all the laws that are on the books right now protect people in bathrooms,” she said. It’s illegal for a man to molest someone “whether he’s wearing a Laker uniform or a dress.”