Why some Chicago trans women took issue with Caitlyn Jenner's visit

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Caitlyn Jenner's first public speaking engagement since the ESPYs was met with support and protest from members of Chicago's LGBT community.

The Olympian-turned-reality star delivered the keynote address at the 7th Annual Chicago House Speaker Series Luncheon at the Chicago Hilton Thursday.

Chicago House is a decades-old social service agency that provides housing and other services to LGBT and HIV-positive people, according to DNAinfo Chicago. The luncheon ultimately raised over $20,000 for the agency.


But some local transgender residents were not so thrilled about the keynote speaker, worrying that Chicago House would further boost Jenner's profile as the face of trans issues. Protesters picketed outside the Chicago Hilton under the slogan "I Ain't Cait"—a reference to Jenner's E! reality show, I Am Cait.

Demonstrators took issue with bootstraps-y comments Jenner made on her show about not wanting trans people to get "totally dependent" on social services—the same kind of social services that Chicago House provides. One woman named Monica James told The Chicago Tribune that Jenner "can't speak" to the violence, sexual assault, and racism that many trans women—particularly trans women of color—face every day.

"I understand her…having her perspective, but that's just one perspective," James said. "Now we're asking them to come and get the rest of our perspectives and then make a comprehensive package of how we're going to try to merge these people into mainstream society with equal rights and equal benefits."

Jenner spoke with James for a short time outside the venue, the Tribune reports. James talked about the employment discrimination she has faced. In response, Jenner reportedly said, "I would love to see you have a job. I love you."


Bad at filling out bios seeks same.

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