Rachel Dolezal: Caitlyn Jenner’s Story “Resonated” With Me, “I Cried”

Caitlyn Jenner has a new supporter in disgraced former NAACP Spokane, Wash., chapter president Rachel Dolezal. In a new interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today show, the woman who identifies as black despite having two Caucasian parents sympathizes with the plight of the transgender former Olympian once known as Bruce.

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Reading Jenner’s July Vanity Fair cover story, Dolezal told Guthrie that she “cried.” “I resonated with some of the themes of isolation, of being misunderstood — to not know if you have a conversation with somebody, will that relationship then end because they have seen you as one way?” Dolezal, who is bisexual, told Guthrie in the emotional interview that aired on Today Wednesday, June 17.

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Asked by Guthrie if she had intentionally manipulated her appearance, Dolezal, 37, would only admit to using extra bronzer on occasion and experimenting with her hair. “I haven’t had any Melanotan shots or any surgeries,” said Dolezal, referring to the injections some people use to develop a darker skin tone.

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“I definitely am not white. Nothing about ‘being white’ describes who I am. I’m more black than I am white,” Dolezal said. “That’s the accurate answer from my truth.”

Rachel Dolezal and Caitlyn Jenner
Anthony Quintano/NBC News; Inset: Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair

Skirting issues of parental abuse and rumors that she was born in a teepee, Dolezal did admit to embellishing some of her past experiences. “There have been moments of creative nonfiction where I’ve had to justify some of the timeline and logistics of my life in a way that made sense to others,” she said.

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The subject of press coverage in her Spokane, Wash., community for her time at her local NAACP chapter, Dolezal told Matt Lauer also on Today that she just went with the flow once her name was in the news. “It’s a little more complex than me identifying as black or answering a question of, ‘Are you black or white?'” Dolezal said in June 16’s portion of the interview “I was identified… as first transracial… the next newspaper article identified me as a biracial woman… the next article was… a black woman. I never corrected that. It’s more complex than being true or false.”

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