Why Caitlyn Jenner does not stand for queer liberation

When I saw a call-out to write about examples of reactionary women and how they perpetuate oppressive social systems on Facebook, I immediately thought about Caitlyn Jenner. This was partly because she has already been criticised in abundance for her problematic behaviour and her open support for the republican party in the U.S., but also because I think that what she represents, the white, privileged upper class and her appraisal for being a champion of LGBT+-issues in the mainstream media, because she came out so bravely in public as trans, are dangerous and harmful for queer communities and people. Don’t misunderstand me, when I talk about Caitlyn Jenner’s privilege I am aware that she has them not because she is trans, but in spite of that. Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out has been met with a shitload of transmysoginistic and transphobic hatred and bigotry, which should have shown, at least to the otherwise oblivious and cis mainstream public in the U.S., that the United States are far from being a safe haven for trans-people (and this does not even include the situation of non-binary and non-gender conforming people). But the liberal media loved Jenner! I mean, it is not as if Jenner is the first person who ever came out as being trans publicly in the U.S., but nonetheless she was being celebrated as if she was a martyr for LGBT+-rights. But certainly, she is one of the few white, rich, English-speaking people in the U.S., who have done so in recent years. I do think that possessing social and economic privilege alone does not make people problematic per se, but being unaware of one’s own privilege and even consciously taking advantage of it for one’s own benefit is immensely problematic! And that is exactly what Jenner has done so much in the past and also after her coming out. Instead of using her privilege and the space she got in the media to point to the much harder and yet so often ignored struggles and experiences of trans* people of colour and non-binary people for example, she just kept talking about her own story. Sure, she probably had a hard time coming to terms with her true identity, but at the same time, the reason why it turned out such a relative success for her (I mean, being the first trans person on the cover of Vanity Fair is quite a success I would say), might have a lot to do with the fact that she is white and rich and well-connected to the upper ranks of the U.S. political and social elite. But why is it also dangerous to queer people if the mainstream media presents people like Caitlyn Jenner as the face of the LGBTI+ community? Because women like Jenner do not care for the situation of the vast majority of LGBTI’s, such as the thousands of teenagers who are being kicked out of their homes because they are trans or gay or lesbian and are forced to sleep under bridges, trans people who get beaten up, raped and murdered every day and all the children who are being called “faggots” in school because they don’t comply with dominant imageries of gender performances. However, there are so many queer people out there who stand in solidarity not just with members of their own community but also with other people and their struggles. Perpetuating the image of LGBTI+ people as white, privileged and supportive of right-wing political parties makes it even more difficult for progressive queer and LGBTI+ groups to form alliances with other disenfranchised people. In addition, such a discourse can easily fuel queer*phobic violence and divide the marginalised in society up. And this is why Caitlyn Jenner is neither a feminist, nor a fighter for queer liberation.