Editor's note: The following column first appeared in the Washington Times.

Imagine this: Someone goes through massive body-altering, gender-changing surgery, changes her life and risks the rejection of her family, all in order to be her genuine self.

Agree or disagree with the choice, the commitment to pursuing who we are is something many view as a necessary component of personal freedom. For some, that includes gender reassignment.

Then imagine, you go through all that and you wake up in a new “community,” which encouraged you to change yourself, while promising love, support and a way to finally belong, without judgment and with complete understanding.

Or so you think.

Suddenly, the crowd which encouraged you to color outside the lines now presents you with new rules about how to correctly be your own person.

No, this isn’t a pitch for yet another incarnation of “The Twilight Zone” or a long-lost manuscript from the great Ray Bradbury. It’s the new life of Caitlyn Jenner.

I never thought I’d feel sorry for Ms. Jenner. Bruce Jenner accomplished amazing things in his life, and then his struggle with sense of gender identity became public. Two years after a worldwide announcement of his decision to transition from male to female, in 2017 Ms. Jenner announced she completed the sex-reassignment surgery.

“The surgery was a success, and I feel not only wonderful but liberated,” People magazine reported about Ms. Jenner’s comments in a memoir released earlier this year.

And then the unthinkable happens: Caitlyn Jenner commits a hat crime! Yes, you read that correctly, a hat crime and in public, no less. Headlines like this are blaring from Vanity Fair, “Let Us Allow Caitlyn Jenner to Explain Her MAGA Hat,” and the New York Daily News: “Caitlyn Jenner Has Quite the Excuse After She’s Photographed Wearing a MAGA Hat,” then the image rehab began.

TMZ’s headline? “Caitlyn: Hat was Comedy of Errors, I HATE TRUMP.” Whew.

“Caitlyn tells TMZ she drove from her Malibu home to Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Ca., in a 1960 Austin-Healey convertible. Before leaving home she realized she needed a hat … something better than a golf visor to protect her hair. So she rummaged through the 10 hats in her closet and grabbed one without looking at the stitching. … She says when she got to the club she threw the hat on the floor of the car, spent an hour or so hitting some balls and left. When she got to the car she grabbed the hat, saw the inscription and realized what she had done,” reported TMZ.

Vanity Fair, after “allowing” Ms. Jenner to explain, reported her apology to its readers, “Jenner is sorry for being caught with the MAGA message blaring out of her forehead. She told TMZ, ‘What he’s doing to our community is absolutely f—g awful. I apologize to all of the trans community. I made a mistake. I will never do it again and I’m getting rid of the hat.’ “

This is all serious, by the way. None of this is parody. Hat crimes must be dealt with.

We know a person’s political opinions can change, and in this instance she has grown cool on Mr. Trump due to his position on transgendered individuals in the military, but it’s clear there is no room for nuance in any liberal community where identity politics are all that matter.

The real story here is, why would Ms. Jenner have to be subjected to international headline-shaming when she has already demonstrated her commitment to the community and her intention and character are known? And if all is well, and people are free to be who they are, why would Ms. Jenner need to be given the coverage at TMZ to, well, beg for forgiveness? What would happen if she simply chose that hat for the day, and then used the attention to discuss her disagreements, and agreements, with the president?

What is at stake?

Bottom line, it’s a good way to condition other people, isn’t it, and to keep your highest profile people in line. The threat of being shunned by your own community is too much for some. Who would dare to not conform when that is the punishment?

In the normal world, Ms. Jenner’s profile and access to the president and his team could be used to influence policy decisions. But no, one must simply resist, and hate.

While we work on policy disagreements, what the left doesn’t want discussed is how everyone is benefiting from Donald Trump’s presidency. The Trump stock market rally has added $4 trillion to the nation’s economy, something everyone with a retirement account or investment, shares in. U.S. small business optimism is the highest it’s been in 10 years. More than 1.1 million fewer people are on food stamps under Mr. Trump. U.S. unemployment has hit its lowest level since 2001, no doubt due to the 1 million new jobs created since Mr. Trump took office.

In the real world, being financially secure, or at least having more disposable income, means you have more influence and power. If the gay left and the “resist” crowd actually wanted Americans to succeed, they wouldn’t be hounding people over a hat crime — they’d be working to get a seat at the table to make a difference.