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Caitlyn Jenner Voices Solid Support for Marriage Equality

Caitlyn Jenner Voices Solid Support for Marriage Equality

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'Everyone should be able to marry the person they love,' writes Jenner, who was criticized for seeming lukewarm on marriage equality.

Caitlyn Jenner, having expressed fairly tepid support for marriage equality in a recent appearance on Ellen, has now published a blog post emphasizing that she is solidly on the side of equality.

"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," she wrote in the post, published today. "But after hearing from my gay friends and learning more about the hardships they faced because of discrimination, it became clear to me that everyone should be able to marry the person they love."

On Ellen DeGeneres's show earlier this month, Jenner described herself as a "traditionalist" who was not initially in favor of marriage equality. "But as time has gone on, I think, like 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.' If that word 'marriage' is really, really that important to you, I can go with it."

DeGeneres responded that Jenner didn't really seem "on board" with marriage equality and explained that "marriage is marriage," and civil unions or domestic partnerships don't have equal status. A few days later, DeGeneres appeared on Howard Stern's Sirius XM talk show and said Jenner seemed judgmental about gay people.

Now Jenner wants everyone to know she's unequivocally for marriage equality, and she hopes to help transgender people make the same kind of progress gay, lesbian, and bisexual people have made. "Up until my transition, I had never met another openly trans person," she wrote. Job discrimination, sex work, ostracism from families, horrific violence... I had no idea what so many people go through to live as their true selves. It is staggering."

"Trans rights are about 30 years behind gay rights (and look at the incredible progress we've made there!)," she continued. "We've got a lot more work to do in the trans community, but we're getting closer. ... I can only hope that by sharing my story, there's someone out there whose mind has been changed about trans people."

Also, while Jenner does not address the matter, marriage equality is an issue that affects transgender people. Some trans people wish to marry someone of the same gender, and even those seeking to marry a partner of the other gender still sometimes encountered obstacles when state laws against same-sex marriage were in force, if the state did not recognize their lived gender as their legal one. There have been instances of trans people being denied parenting rights, inheritances, and more because their marriages were not recognized as legally valid.

Jenner's post further notes that there is diversity of opinion among transgender people and that she has learned much from her new friends, including Jenny Boylan, Candis Cayne, and Chandi Moore. "One of the many lessons that these fabulous women have taught me is that -- despite all being transgender -- they each feel differently about particular issues," Jenner wrote. "It's important to have an open dialogue with the trans people in your life about their unique viewpoints and not lump us all together. Just because I think something is funny or appropriate, doesn't mean that all trans people feel the same way and vice versa. I can only speak from my own personal experience and in no way can I represent the entire trans community. My opinion is just that, my own opinion. There's no one way to be trans!"

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