Caitlyn Jenner has been invited by UK broadcaster Channel 4 to deliver its annual keynote speech on diversity to the UK’s House of Commons.
The diversity lecture launched three years ago. The filmed broadcast features a high-profile figure explaining the importance of diversity in the entertainment world.
Previous speeches have been delivered by the British actors Riz Ahmed and Idris Elba. Both have talked of the lack of racial diversity on TV and in films – particularly in the UK.
In a statement to Buzzfeed, a Channel 4 spokesperson said: ‘The aim of the Channel 4 Diversity Lecture is to raise awareness and stimulate public debate about diversity issues.
‘Caitlyn Jenner is one of the most high profile transgender people in the world and her transition brought transgender issues into the mainstream, helping to stimulate debate and increase awareness.’
Jenner came out as a trans woman in 2015. She was already world famous, first as an Olympic medal-winning athlete in the 1970s, and more laterly for being a member of the Kardashian family and appearing on their popular Keeping Up With The Kardashian TV show.
Coming out as trans made her arguably the most famous trans person in the world. She has used her platform to raise awareness around trans rights. However, she has also disappointed some in the LGBTI community for her support for right-wing causes.
‘I have gotten more flak for being a conservative Republican than I have for being trans,’ she said in February 2016.
Support for Trump
She says she voted for Donald Trump in the 2017 Presidential election, and was in Washington DC for his inauguration. However, she has since criticized him for policy changes he has sought to introduce around trans rights. Trump has tried to ban trans people from the US military, among other measures.
In March, while attending the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York City, Jenner told Newsweek: ‘As far as trans issues, this administration has been the worst ever. They’ve set our community back 20 years, easily. It’s going to be hard to change, but we’ve been through these types of things before and we’ll continue to fight it.’
In 2015, Jenner suggested to Ellen DeGeneres on her TV show that she supported the ‘traditional’ view of marriage.
‘I’m a traditionalist. … I kinda like tradition and it’s always been a man and a woman,’ she said at the time. Two years later, after announcing her transition, she again appeared on Ellen to say her view on same-sex marriage had ‘evolved’. In a statement Jenner issued at the time, she said: ‘Everyone should be able to marry the person they love.’
Some have struggled to reconcile Jenner’s advocacy for LGBTI rights with her support for the Republican Party. However, she has herself hinted that an acceptance of diversity should extend across the political belief.
‘We live in a very diverse world,’ she told students at Cambridge University in England last November. ‘There’s diversity everywhere we look. We have diversity in the colour of our skin, in religion, in the lgbt community. Everyone is different and we need to be understanding of that.’