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Reality Star Caitlyn Jenner: 'I Have Gotten More Flak For Being a Conservative Republican Than I Have For Being Trans''

( [email protected] ) Feb 19, 2016 01:12 PM EST
In a surprising turn of events, Caitlyn Jenner -- formerly known as Bruce Jenner -- has said that being a conservative Republican has been far more difficult than being a transgendered woman.
Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the 2015 ESPY awards. Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events, Caitlyn Jenner -- formerly known as Bruce Jenner -- has said that being a conservative Republican has been far more difficult than being a transgendered woman.

According to a report from a Pennsylvania news blog, Jenner, speaking to a large group of students at an event at the University of Pennsylvania earlier this week, said, "I have gotten more flak for being a conservative Republican than I have for being trans."

Jenner, a former Olympic athlete, made headlines in 2015 after transitioning from male to female. The reality star's statement was reportedly made after a student, asked, "Why are you not an ardent Democrat, given the party's embrace of transgender rights?"

Buzz Bissinger, who broke the story about Jenner's gender transition in a Vanity Fair article last June, was moderating the question-and-answer session and added, "Just because you change gender doesn't mean you change your core beliefs."

Jenner also hit back at claims the transition was simply an effort to gain fame and money: "I don't need the money, so I don't understand that claim," Jenner said. "No one transitions for financial gain - no way. You don't do it unless you know deep down in your soul that it's the right thing to do. If I can't be honest with myself about what I'm doing, I'm no good for anything."

When asked what it's like to be a role model for the LGBT community, Jenner replied, "I'm not a role model. I'm so new to this community I don't expect to be one."

During an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in late April, Jenner was asked if he would be willing to ask the Republican congressional leadership to support LGBT issues after identifying himself as a conservative Republican.

Jenner replied, "In a heartbeat, why not? I think they'd be very receptive to it."

The "I am Cait" star also insisted that neither Democrats nor Republicans have a monopoly on "understanding."

Just a few months ago, talk host Ellen DeGeneres, a self-identified lesbian, challenged Jenner's confusing political views and asked why the reality star seemed uncertain regarding the issue of same-sex-marriage.

"I don't want to stand in front of anybody's happiness. That's not my job. If that word marriage is really, really that important to you, I can go with it," Jenner told DeGeneres then.

Then, in January, Jenner answered a reporter's questions about why she's still affiliated with "a political party that doesn't support transgender rights."

"If Republicans haven't been very good on this issue ... isn't it good that they have an ally, someone on their team that can win them over?" Jenner said. "We have our fingers crossed."