Caitlyn Jenner prays with Baptist Pastor Young in Houston.

Just a few days after Caitlyn Jenner made a public apology on her blog for the “inappropriate” actions and statements she made that sparked numerous controversies, the transgender reality star is again under attack. And this time, Jenner is criticized for going to a Church’s Christmas party dedicated for children, discussing transgender issues and praying with Dr. Ed Young Sr., a strong anti-LGBT rights pastor in Houston.

Though it is not confirmed, reports say that Jenner together with her I Am Cait television show crew intentionally visited Houston a month after the LGBT-backed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was rejected by the city’s legislators. The proposed ordinance should have prevented discrimination and provided equal rights for gays and lesbians like the use of women’s public bathrooms for gays. Those who rejected the bill claimed that such right for gays can be exploited by predatory men by legally allowing them to enter women’s bathrooms.

The Second Baptist Church headed by Ed Young Sr. is considered to be the largest Baptist denomination in the U.S. The pastor is also considered one of the strongest voices against the passing of HERO in Houston. In his preaching and speeches, the elder Young described the ordinance as godless saying that “it opens up our city and in short order all of the metropolitan area of Houston to something that I think is absolutely godless.” Angered by his comments, the transgender and LGBT activists responded by attending the Baptist church’s services in groups hoping to send the message to pastor Young that gays and lesbians are present everywhere.

During the church’s Christmas party on December 17, Jenner and her TV crew proceeded to the church and tried to confront the pastor. In her blog post entitled “Why Caitlyn and I Prayed with One of Our Fiercest Enemies”, Jenner’s friend and mentor Jenny Boylan made an account as to what transpired in that unusual meeting.

According to Boylan “Pastor Young approached us. We all stood up. And Caitlyn Jenner looked him in the eye and told him how much his actions and his words had harmed our people… The pastor seemed to me to have never spoken face to face with transgender people before, and he clearly did not understand our lives, given some of the things he said to us. But we were calm and polite and dignified. We told him about our lives, and he paused to listen. He really did seem to consider our humanity.”

Boylan defended Jenner and the group’s act citing that it’s not a publicity stunt. She added that no cameras and microphones were brought during the confrontation. And surprisingly, the one who took photos of the meeting and prayer and who also have shared it on social media is the elder Young’s son Ed Jr. who is also a minister of the church. Ed Young Jr. tweeted on December 18 that “Dad and Caitlyn Jenner had a great conversation and prayer after last night’s service!” He followed it with a statement saying that “Dad has always taught me to love everyone. He is praying with Caitlyn Jenner at tonight’s service.”

This event eventually sparked new waves of criticism against Jenner even those from the LGBT community. Jared Woodfill the former chair of the Republican Party in the county criticized Jenner’s acts saying that “You don’t go to a kid’s Christmas play and use that as a vehicle to send your message. That’s just plain wrong.”

Aside from the meeting with Pastor Young, Jenner had also visited the mother of the controversial 10-year-old transgender boy. She also met with various Caucasian transgender leaders in Houston.

This has also attracted criticism like those coming from transgender activist Monica Roberts who said that Jenner ignored the non-white transgenders during her visit to the city. As Roberts wrote “They arrogantly dissed me and other Houston trans community leaders who have been doing the work to advance the human rights of this community.”


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