Reality TV star and transgender icon Caitlyn Jenner made a bold political statement on Wednesday by using the bathroom at Trump Tower in New York City.
During an appearance on “The Today Show” last Thursday, Trump was pressed to share his position on HB2, the controversial North Carolina bill that, among other things, prohibits trans people for using the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In a move that riled some conservatives, Trump came out against law, saying it was unnecessary. Then he said that if Jenner visited one of his properties, she could use whatever bathroom she wanted. A week later, Jenner took him up on the offer.
“Donald Trump said I could take a pee anywhere at a Trump facility, so I am gonna go take a pee in the ladies room,” Jenner said before entering the real estate mogul’s headquarters in a video recording that was eventually posted on Facebook.
After exiting the women’s bathroom, Jenner thanked the GOP front-runner and then quipped in a reference to Sen. Ted Cruz: “By the way Ted, nobody got molested.”
Cruz has campaigned aggressively against Trump’s stance on the restroom issue, and has repeatedly complained that efforts to accommodate the trans community amount to “political correctness” run amok. He has also invoked his own daughters and other children as potential victims of sexual assault should “men” be allowed into women’s bathrooms.
“He thought that men should be able to go into the girls’ bathroom if they want to,” Cruz said in the aftermath of Trump’s “Today Show” remarks. “Now let me ask you: Have we gone stark-raving nuts?”
The Texas senator also released an ad that asks, “Should a grown man pretending to be a woman be allowed to use the women’s restroom? The same restroom used by your daughter? Your wife? Donald Trump thinks so. It’s not appropriate. It’s not safe. It’s PC nonsense that’s destroying America. Donald Trump won’t take on the PC police. He’s one of them.”
Ironically, Jenner has been one of Cruz’s few celebrity supporters. In a recent interview with the LGBT publication The Advocate, Jenner, who is a lifelong Republican and someone who has spoken with disdain about Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, said she liked Cruz and would gladly volunteer to be is his “trans ambassador.”
“I think he’s very conservative, and a great Constitutionalist, and a very articulate man,” she told the magazine. “I haven’t endorsed him or anything like that. But I also think, he’s an evangelical Christian, and probably one of the worst ones when it comes to trans issues.”
Last fall, Cruz called making schools more inclusive for trans students “lunacy” and accused the Justice Department of “trying to force [school districts] to let boys shower with little girls.” And in January of this year he brought up the bathroom issue on the campaign trail, arguing that a male transgender student should use faculty facilities because “inflicting him on the teachers is probably better than sticking him in the shower with the teenage girls.”
“You know, the funny thing is, my 5-year-old knows there’s a difference between boys and girls,” Cruz said on a conservative radio show last November. “And yet modern leftists can’t figure that out.”
In 2014, The Advocate named Cruz the “Phobie of the Year” for his vociferous opposition to same-sex marriage rights and for introducing a bill that February that would amount to essentially “unmarrying any couple who set foot in a state without marriage equality.”
Later, in an interview with E!, Jenner reiterated that she hasn’t decided to back Cruz just yet, and she hasn’t “figured out” what to make of Trump. “He’ll be great for women’s issues, he says, but then he doesn’t say how,” she told E!. “So I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
Despite saying “I would never, ever, ever vote for Hillary. We’re done if Hillary becomes president. The country is over,” on a recent episode of her reality show “I Am Cait,” Jenner recently met the former secretary of state in person for the first time and took a photo with her.
“With Hillary Clinton we were all so starstruck and Caitlyn was too. You know, even though she kind of wanted to deny it – it was so palpable to me that I was like, ‘Oh, she’s loving this,’” said Zackary Drucker, a friend of Jenner’s. “She’s meeting a presidential front-runner.”
This story has been updated to reflect that Jenner posted the video on Wednesday, not Thursday.