Everyone knew what former Olympian Bruce Jenner was going to say when he sat down for an inspiring 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer. The former "Wheaties box" champion publicly announced that he identifies as a woman, sharing his story, in his own words, for the first time since the frenetic media speculation began. "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," Jenner told Sawyer at the start of the two-hour interview, during which he divulged he always felt like he had "the soul of a female." But what may have been more a surprise to some viewers was his next revelation: Jenner is a Republican.
When asked if he was happy about President Obama's support of transgender Americans, Jenner demurred, saying, "I will certainly give him credit for that." But the one-time Olympian won't give him too much credit.
"I've just never been a big fan. I'm kind of more on the conservative side," Jenner said. And when Sawyer asked if he identified as a Republican, Jenner responded with a small smile. "Yeah. Is that a bad thing?"
A bad thing? No, but perhaps a shocking thing, considering most gay and transgender Americans align themselves with the Democratic Party. According to a July 2014 Gallup Poll, only 21 percent of LGBT Americans identity themselves as Republicans or lean conservative. An overwhelming 63 percent identified as Democrats or said they were liberal.
As a Republican, Jenner may have a tough time finding support among those who share his political ideologies. However, there's at least one conservative group who's embraced the Olympian.
Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, an organization representing gay conservatives and their allies, said Friday night in a statement:
As the nation’s only organization representing LGBT conservatives and straight allies, Log Cabin Republicans congratulates Bruce Jenner in the tremendous courage he demonstrated tonight, being true to himself both in terms of his personal identity as well as his political identity. There is a home for you in Log Cabin Republicans — as there is for all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender conservatives and straight allies.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) was also happy about Jenner's Republican reveal. When TMZ tracked him down on Saturday, the ultra-right-wing Chaffetz said: "We [the Republican Party] need all the help we can get. He's welcome.""He's gotta do what he's gotta do," Chaffetz added. "I'm not going to sit around and judge him. It's his life — he can do what he wants."
The Republican National Committee, the College Republican National Committee, and the National Federation of Republican Women did not return Bustle's request for comment.
Image: Getty Images
Editor’s Note: Per Jenner’s stated preference, Bustle will continue referring to Jenner using he/his pronouns for the time being. We will follow his lead and make any changes to this policy as needed in the future.