Indiana Republicans call Jenner welcome a ‘tipping point’

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Weeks after a highly publicized interview, where Bruce Jenner came out as a transgender woman, the debut of the Vanity Fair article featuring Caitlyn Jenner is now on sale.

It’s a 22 page spread. On the cover Jenner has written, ‘Call me Caitlyn’ and in the magazine she said,” I’m not doing this to be interesting, I’m doing this to live.”

During her prime time interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner said she was a Republican. And after being welcomed to the party by presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, LGBT advocates said it is a sea change.

“Things are changing and I think people that weren’t that interested are maybe waking up a little bit and saying we really need to do some things because its not really helping,” said J.J. Gufreda, the president of the Indy Rainbow Chamber of Commerce.

Gufreda said the politics surrounding LGBT rights are rapidly changing.

“Its much better now than it used to be. There’s still a lot of bumps in the road but I will say the Jenner thing probably put a spotlight on it. And even though her case isn’t typical, I think its a good step in the right direction,” said Gufreda.

Jenner’s Vanity Fair article hit stands Tuesday. It comes as Indy and many other cities celebrate Pride.

This weekend Republican Mayor Greg Ballard will serve as Grand Marshal of the Circle City IN Pride Parade.

On Monday presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a Republican, she is welcome in my party.”

“I think its particularly important for transgender Americans to hear it coming out of the mouth of a major candidate for the presidency,” said Chris Douglas, a  Republican and LGBT advocate.

He was one of the leading forces behind changing RFRA. “Its a long time coming,” said Douglas.

Douglas said Jenner could change the opinions of Republicans in Indiana.

“I think we’ve hit a tipping point and its gratifying. I think that now the momentum is really on the side of tolerance and fairness,” said Douglas

Indy Pride is a non-partisan organization but released this statement regarding Sen. Graham:

The LGBT communities have grown so much over the past couple of years that it’s humbling to see more straight allies standing up for equality.

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