Janet Mock: The Trans Community Does Not Want Caitlyn Jenner As A Spokesperson

Talking to Chelsea Handler, Mock says Jenner doesn't speak "on behalf of the community.”

On Chelsea Handler’s Netflix talk show, Janet Mock made it clear she doesn’t think Caitlyn Jenner is a strong advocate for the trans community.


Handler broached Jenner’s “joke” about the mass shooting at a GOP baseball game—that liberals “can’t even shoot straight”—and asked Mock if she felt any responsibility for the former Olympian, or if she was giving the trans community a bad name.

“I think my community has overwhelmingly said ’We do not want that,’” Mock replied.


“I’m not Caitlyn’s publicist, I’m sure she has a whole team on that mountain in Malibu protecting her,” she added. “But [most of] my community isn’t protected in that way. So I find it really problematic that they say ‘trans activist or advocate Caitlyn Jenner.’ No, it’s Caitlyn Jenner, who’s a very specific person with a specific set of experiences that are very monied, very white, very privileged. She can say [those things] on behalf of herself, but I don’t think on behalf of the community.”


Jenner’s ascendence as the most famous trans person in America has been something of a double-edge sword for the trans community—especially her support for the Republican party and moderate tone on Donald Trump.

Some have seen it as a teachable moment, though, showing that you can respect someone’s identity and the struggle they’ve gone through while disagreeing vociferously with their views.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.