Longtime Republican Caitlyn Jenner supported Donald Trump’s bid for president in 2016 and has stuck with him through controversies such as the Muslim travel ban and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, along with the ongoing Russia scandal.
But Trump’s announcement-via-twitter on Wednesday that he plans to ban transgender Americans from serving in the U.S. military seems to be the last straw for the former Olympian.
Hours after tweeting her displeasure with the president’s decision, Jenner penned what amounts to a political “Dear John” letter, declaring that her “allegiance is with them and our country, not you.”
“Studies estimate there are as many as 15,000 transgender people already serving this country – and for those brave people fighting for our nation, Trump’s early morning tweets must be devastating,” Jenner said in a letter posted Wednesday afternoon to her official website. “I believe every American should be outraged by the disrespect shown to those people wearing our country’s uniform.”
“Furthermore,” Jenner continued, “this half-baked idea puts all of our service members in harm’s way. Does President Trump intend to just pull 15,000 people out of every critical position to which they are currently assigned? That would disrupt core military missions around the world and needlessly endanger our troops.”
Jenner went on to cite the honorable service of transgender soldiers, noting studies that indicate “transgender people are more likely to enlist in the military than the general population,” as well as the “approximately 134,000 transgender veterans in the U.S. today.” She also noted the work by the Pentagon to ensure transgender people can serve openly.
Jenner continued: “There is absolutely no reason to undo all that work because President Trump decided to send a few tweets this morning.”
She concluded her letter with a tribute to her father. “William Jenner landed on Omaha Beach in WWII, and his bravery and service to his country has always inspired me and helped make me the person I am today,” Jenner said. “America’s 15,000 trans service members and 134,000 veterans are much braver than you, Mr. Trump; my allegiance is with them and our country, not you.”
Read the full letter here.