And on CNN last weekend, Dolezal compared herself—somewhat—to Caitlyn Jenner: “There is some similarity in terms of harmonizing the outer appearance with the inner feeling, in terms of stigmatized identities, some people will forever see me as my birth category and nothing further. And the same with Caitlyn.” She made similar comments on BBC Newsnight and in other interviews.
But even worse than Dolezal’s specious analogies themselves are the way they are being handled by the media. Once again, voices on the right are wielding Dolezal’s story as a trump card to try to delegitimize and denigrate transgender identity. And voices on the left are failing to challenge or debunk the transgender comparison; in some cases, they’re asking the questions that invite it.