Transgender community criticises 'reactionary' choice of Caitlyn Jenner as diversity speaker

Caitlyn Jenner is set to deliver a diversity lecture in the House of Commons - but the move has been met with opposition from the transgender world.

Jenner, the former Olympic gold medallist, 68, was confirmed as the headliner of the Channel 4 Diversity Lecture on Friday.

Since the announcement, however, there have been complaints that Jenner is not representative of transgender people in the UK.

  • What is the Diversity Lecture?

Idris Elba and Riz Ahmed have delivered the lecture before. Credit: PA

The lecture, which is delivered in the House of Commons, is a Channel 4 scheme now into its third year.

High-profile speakers are given the opportunity to speak out publicly about the issue of diversity in the entertainment industry.

The lecture is also screened on YouTube.

In its inception year, actor Idris Elba fronted the lecture, while in 2017 Riz Ahmed spoke to the Commons.

Ahmed, star of Four Lions, criticised the British entertainment industry, claiming that ethnic minority actors needed to go to the US to break into the UK film and TV scene.

  • Why is Jenner the speaker this year round?

Jenner will speak to MPs in the House of Commons on May 9. Credit: PA

Channel 4's decision to invite Jenner to be this year's speaker coincides with the broadcaster's Genderquake season.

This will involve two weeks of programmes "to open up the debate on gender".

Jenner, who made the transition from male to female in 2015, has made a documentary called I Am Cait.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: "The aim of the Channel 4 Diversity Lecture is to raise awareness and stimulate public debate about diversity issues.

"Caitlyn Jenner is one of the most high profile transgender people in the world and her transition brought transgender issues into the mainstream, helping to stimulate debate and increase awareness."

  • Why are people unhappy with Channel 4's choice?

The announcement of Jenner as speaker has been met with criticism from several people in the transgender community.

Some have described the decision as "reactionary", a "mess" and a "stunt".

Critics argue that Jenner does not represent transgender people in the UK and that her appearance will do nothing to advance the diversity issue.

One person went as far to compare Jenner representing trans issues with Donald Trump advocating women's issues.

The lecture will take place on May 9, while Genderquake season begins on May 7.