California governor Gavin Newsom embarrasses Caitlyn Jenner with his pro-trans views

Caitlyn Jenner

California’s incumbent governor Gavin Newsom drew a sharp contrast with Caitlyn Jenner on Wednesday as he emphasised his strong pro-trans views.

Jenner likely lost what little support she had from the LGBT+ community this week by publicly opposing trans equality in sports, claiming that allowing trans athletes to compete under their gender identity “just isn’t fair”.

She invited further conflict in a disastrous Fox News interview on Wednesday (5 May), in which she praised Donald Trump as a “disruptor” and declared she doesn’t care what people think of her views on trans athletes.

As LGBT+ advocates and allies criticised the controversial transgender candidate, Newsom set himself firmly apart by emphasising his support for the trans community.

Shortly after Jenner’s interview, a spokesperson for the Democratic governor confirmed to Fox News that he believes that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause “applies to all Americans – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity”.

When asked for Newsom’s position on trans athletes, the spokesperson said the governor wants to ensure “trans Californians are fully acknowledged in accordance with their gender identity while interacting with public services”.

The spokesperson added that California already allows students to “participate in activities consistent with their gender identity”, and assured voters that the state “isn’t going backwards on these issues”.

The exchange highlighted the fact that, while Caitlyn Jenner might like to present herself as a thorn in Gavin Newsom’s side, in reality she’s provided the perfect foil for his campaign.

According to Variety, Newsom’s team are “thrilled” that she’s running for governor, with the publication describing her candidacy as “a political gift”.

“For months Newsom has been calling the recall a Republican power grab and trying to brand it as very Trumpy, which was smart,” said Michael Trujillo, a California Democratic political strategist.

“Now you have Caitlyn basically highlighting all their talking points by hiring a bunch of Trump aides. If you’re Team Newsom, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Sure enough, Newsom’s team has reported a Jenner-fuelled $300,000 fundraising burst in the days since she launched her campaign, suggesting she’s not quite the adversary she thinks she is.