Caitlyn Jenner has found an admirer in U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama said the former Olympian had displayed “tremendous courage” in making her transition in such a public way, a spokesman said Tuesday.
Jenner's new handle @Caitlyn_Jenner quickly amassed 1 million followers on Twitter, setting a record and eclipsing the president, the previous record holder. Twitter handle @BarackObama, run by Organizing for Action (OFA), acknowledged Jenner’s courage with a tweet. However, Obama’s official Twitter handle @POTUS made no mention.
The White House said Tuesday Jenner’s Twitter performance was worthy of respect. “While he [Obama] enjoyed holding that distinction while it lasted, I would say that the sentiments that were expressed by OFA that tweeted about this, are consistent with the president’s views, which is that the president does believe that Caitlyn Jenner has shown tremendous courage as she has undergone this transition in a very public way,” Politico quoted press secretary Josh Earnest as saying.
This is not the first time the White House has voiced its position on transgender issues. There is a gender-neutral bathroom in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The administration also released an executive order banning discrimination against transgender and gay employees of companies that hold government contracts.
Jenner created her Twitter handle @Caitlyn_Jenner Monday, and her first tweet got retweeted more than 235,000 times and had more than 267,000 favorites.
Jenner’s photo appeared Monday on the July cover of Vanity Fair.
Jenner decided against having her name start with the letter “K” like the rest of her family. “She decided it was best to break tradition, and the media associations that went with it,” Vanity Fair reported. It was her assistant Rhonda who suggested the name “Caitlyn.”
Jenner was born as William Bruce Jenner and is believed arguably to be the most famous openly transgender person in the world. Jenner, as Bruce, is the stepfather of the Kardashian sisters and has two daughters, Kendall and Kylie, with Kris Jenner. Before marrying Kris Jenner, Jenner fathered several other children: Brody Jenner, Casey Jenner, Burt Jenner and Brandon Jenner.