Caitlyn Jenner has declined accepting an award after members of the transgender community started a petition protesting her receiving the honor.
The 67-year-old was meant to be honored by the Los Angeles-based St. John’s Well Child & Family Center at its TransNation film festival. A Change.org petition, started by transgender activist Ashlee Marie Preston, urged St. John’s Well Child & Family Center not to award Jenner.
The petition says that “Caitlyn Jenner has been nothing but harmful to the LGBTQ community” and provides a list of reasons as to why including “expressing opposition to same-sex marriage on the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ among numerous others.
In a statement posted on her website, Jenner announced she would not be accepting the award.
“In this spirit of unity and love, I’m going to decline the award they so graciously offered me for supporting their mission. I understand that my presence is distracting from the real purpose of the event, which is to celebrate the important and life-saving work of St. John’s. I will continue my commitment to helping marginalized communities through my foundation,” Jenner writes.
“I am with you, and I am here to help,” Jenner adds.
St. John’s Well Child & Family Center also released its own statement apologizing to the transgender community.
“We deeply regret that our actions have hurt and divided the transgender community. That was not our intention. Our mission has always been to uplift and move our community forward. We originally decided to honor Caitlyn Jenner, due to her support of our Transgender Health Program, when few others were stepping up. However, we hear the concerns of local activists, and we take them very seriously. Therefore, Caitlyn will not be receiving an award at the Eleganza Ball or attending the event,” the organization stated.