Trump’s Position On The Transgender Issue Has Utterly Changed Over The Years
MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 08: Former U.S. President Donald Trump is seen in attendance during the UFC 287 event at Kaseya Center on April 08, 2023 in Miami, Florida.
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former President Trump is vowing to “defeat the cult of gender ideology” as he pursues a second term in the White House, but he has not always been consistent on the polarizing issue, which could animate the 2024 presidential election.

Just over a decade ago, Trump endorsed letting a man claiming to be a woman compete in the Miss Universe pageant that he owned at the time. Referring to 23-year-old Canadian Jenna Talaackova as a “woman,” Trump said the contest should be open to men who identify as women.

“This is a young woman, who, according to the laws of Canada, and according to the laws of the United States, is allowed to enter the pageant system,” Trump said. “What I did, is I said, ‘We have 58 contestants in Canada. Let her run, and maybe she’ll win. And if she wins she’ll go to Miss Universe.’ And I think I made the right decision. I feel fine with the decision.”

More recently, in 2016, Trump spoke out against the so-called “bathroom bill” in North Carolina that barred men from using women’s bathrooms.

“Leave it the way it is,” Trump said at the time. “There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble.”

Radical gender theory has emerged as a hot-button issue in the 2024 presidential race, touching on education, parenting, sports, and culture. Many on the Left embrace the idea that people can change their gender and even support irreversible chemical and surgical procedures for children. The increasingly crowded GOP primary field is generally critical of the controversial claims, and now, that includes Trump.

“No serious country should be telling its children that they were born with the wrong gender.” Trump reiterated in late March, “We will defeat the cult of gender ideology to reassert that God created two genders, male and female,” then said in April, “I will keep men out of women’s sports.”

Trump has been on both sides of the issue in the past. While president, Trump was criticized by the LGBTQ community for reversing Obama-era rules that defined “sex discrimination” as applying to cases of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He was accused by The New York Times of taking action in 2020 that “erases transgender civil rights protections.” He also banned transgender people from serving in the military, a policy that upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, but later reversed by President Joe Biden.

Trump’s closest challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has been a harsh critic of sex-change procedures for minors, allowing biological boys and men to compete in female sports, and allowing public schools to push radical gender theory. As far back as June 1, 2021, the first day of Pride Month, DeSantis approved legislation banning men and boys from competing in high school and college women’s sports.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality. … The bill that we’re doing today will ensure fairness for women athletes for years to come in the state of Florida. … We’re going to go based off biology, not based off ideology when we’re doing sports.”

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