HOUSTON, Texas – ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner’s visit to two Houston, Texas, megachurches, while snubbing the transgender community, has received mixed reviews by that community.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, Jenner was in H-town filming his Reality TV show and went to Christmas services at two megachurches whose pastors were vocal in opposition to the Houston “bathroom ordinance.” Rev. Dave Welch of the US Pastor Council called the events at the Christmas services, “photo ops.”
Jenner and members of his TV crew attended a Christmas show for children at a megachurch, Houston’s Second Baptist Church’s location on Woodway. After the show, Jenner spoke and prayed with Baptist minister, Dr. Ed Young, who was a vocal opponent of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). Cameras recorded their time together.
Senior Pastor Garrett Booth of Grace Church Houston confirmed with Breitbart Texas that Jenner also attended a family Christmas service at Grace Church. Pastor Steve Riggle, founding senior pastor at the church, was very active in speaking against the HERO ordinance. Moreover, when openly gay Mayor Annise Parker and the City subpoenaed the sermon notes, and communications with congregants of Houston-area pastors during the HERO litigation, Riggle said, “We’re not afraid of this bully. This is an attempt to chill pastors from speaking to the cultural issues of the day. The mayor would like to silence our voice. She’s a bully.”
Breitbart Texas reported extensively about the Houston “bathroom ordinance.” Voters in Houston came out in massive numbers and soundly rejected Mayor Parker’s proposal that would have allowed men to enter women’s bathrooms, showers and changing areas based on gender identification or being transgender. The HERO proposition was rejected in early November by a vote of 61 to 39 percent, as reported by Breitbart Texas.
After Jenner’s visits to the Houston churches last week, the founding editor of TransGriot, Monica Roberts, took great issue with Jenner’s actions. Roberts is a blogger who writes about “News, opinion, commentary, history and a little creative writing from a proud African-American transwoman.”
Roberts wrote an article entitled, “Caitlyn Comes to H-town, Screws up Again.” She wrote in part:
Let’s tell it like it T-I-S is. Caitlyn’s first few months as a freshly out trans woman have been problematic at times. She gets honored with an ESPY and named by Barbara Walters as her Most Interesting Person of 2015, but follows it up by uttering jacked up commentary rooted in her conservative political beliefs and vanillacentric privilege.
Yesterday Caitlin bounced into my hometown to tape an episode for the second season of I Am Cait to talk about HERO. … The problem I have with it along with many of our allies is that the taping had no Houston trans representation, and especially Houston trans people of color leaders to discuss on camera an issue that we have been all in about and are the experts at discussing in HERO. …
So what happened to showing the diversity of the trans community and its leaders? Massive fail that I’m not happy about. I’m also not happy this happened while the waste of DNA who killed Ty Underwood was on trial 198 miles away in Tyler.
Then you compound the melanin free photo screw-up by going to the Christmas pageant at Second Baptist (Hate) Church, a venue in which its senior pastor Ed Young was hypocritically preaching anti-HERO and anti-trans vitriol from his pulpit as one of his youth ministers was getting carted off to jail for molesting teen Second Baptist girls. …
This is about once again the predominately white trans community conveniently ignoring the fact that some of our trans leaders don’t look like y’all, and blowing another opportunity to use your vanillacentric privilege and media access to showcase some of those leaders.
While Roberts was wholly critical of Jenner’s actions during the Houston trip, other transgender activists were not quite as harsh and even commended Jenner.
Olivia Maynard from Houston told Breitbart Texas, “I started out not liking her but I took the anger, and now I sympathize with her.” Maynard added, “Good for her, for having the courage. She took a risk for our community by going there. She did not get a safety bubble just because she is a famous personality, she was not free from reality. The people there are told we are evil and abnormal.”
“She’s turning me around,” Maynard explained, “I hated her ‘man in a dress’ gaff, and although everyone in the community goes ‘Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod,’ that you’re not supposed to say that, everyone does. It’s important to look good.” Maynard was referring to Jenner’s comment reported by Breitbart News, that “if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable.”
The transgender Houstonian concluded, “I did not like her because of the Kardashians. I hated her because I hated myself. I did not want to see my own mistakes in her. My own transphobia was why I did not like her.”
Breitbart Texas also spoke with Nikki Araguz Loyd, the transgender widow of a fallen firefighter who made headlines for suing to collect benefits she said were rightfully hers. As reported by Breitbart Texas after a rally post-defeat of the HERO ordinance, Nikki describes herself as a “heterosexual trans woman.”
She told Breitbart Texas, “My initial reaction was that I was not pleased with Caitlyn for disregarding the local community by not introducing herself to the community. I thought it spoke volumes about her intentions with her show. I was mildly insulted in a Southern sort of way.” She explained, “Caitlyn, you came to my community but you did not come-a-call’in.”
Nikki continued, “But on reflection, she put the spotlight on the anti-HERO pastors who are vehemently against transgender. Those who preach from the pulpit, our own special brand of American terrorism.” She concluded, “What we need is those who will call them out. Those who are preaching hate from the pulpit.”
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2