Say goodbye to Bruce and hello to Caitlyn Jenner! Former Olympian and father of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, has retired the male identity and is now embracing the “her” side she has eloquently described in previous interviews.
Jenner is appearing on the upcoming?cover of the extremely popular?Vanity Fair.?The cover photo and other pictures that will appear in the newest magazine edition have surfaced online today and people have gone crazy! Caitlyn Jenner decided to join Twitter today and has already broken the record for shortest time gaining one million followers: about four hours.??The previous record was held by none other than President Barack Obama.
Aside from Jenner’s family many celebrities have taken to social media to express their support for Caitlyn.
I have seen a ton of support for Caitlyn from average people as well; those of us who aren’t celebrities but still have valid opinions.
From Pop Icon Lady Gaga:
The beauty on the inside is now also on the outside. God bless you and the whole family for sharing it with us. pic.twitter.com/bfO7aFRjbY
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) June 1, 2015
From singer/songwriter Sam Smith:
?? YAS ?? https://t.co/TJrBgVZmBV
— SAM SMITH (@samsmithworld) June 1, 2015
Actress Anna Kendrick:
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) June 1, 2015
But there have been some negative reactions. Some are just evil and rude and don’t understand nor care about trans people. They probably don’t care about anything outside of their “normal”, “traiditonal”, “old-fashioned” ways of thinking in general.
Former?relevant actor Drake Bell tweeted a mean-spirited, non-funny quip about Cailtyn’s introduction to the world, saying:
He has deleted that tweet but it ?is confirmed to have been sent from his account.
Other non-famous tweeters have also said rude things about Caitlyn. Here is one of my least favorites:
Bruce Jenner or Caitlyn Jenner WHOever you wanna call it still ugly to me
— highSIDDITY? (@_AyyeJayyAyye_) June 2, 2015
But aside from the obious smearing and transphobia, many progressives or activists do not like all of the attention that she has recieved. Some (I won’t name their names because I personally know some of them) think that she is still white and was going through this as a cis-male (at least to the outside world) so her story isn’t the one they can most relate to. Perhaps most importantly though, she is rich so her transition is easier than it may be for others.
I understand their points. But in response, I say that we have to remember that Caitlyn identified her struggles as a child back when she was Bruce and when no one even knew who he was. Secondly, race or class aren’t the only ways someone can be oppressed or marginalized. Her interview with Diane Sawyer clearly shows how alone she has felt and outcasted from society. Being transgender as ?a rich white person is still far from easy .If anything, a lot of the elite class is very unaccepting of change and gender/sexual identities that fall outside of the norm of what they are raised to believe.
Yes, Caitlyn’s wealth has undoubtedly helped merge her inner feelings with her physical appearance. For example, the average cost of male-to-female surgery is about $17,000. And receiving things like hormones can add on extra thousands of dollars as well. The point is: transitioning is not cheap!
For trans people of color and poor trans people, the reality of actually physically transitioning never even comes into fruition. That is a sad reality that we need to help fix.
While Caitlyn has privileges, we cannot underestimate the courage it still takes for someone in the public eye to do something like this. One of the most famous transgender celebrities, “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox, has become well known and a transgender icon. However, she is a relatively new celebrity and most of us only knew her once she was an out transgender woman.
Bruce has been a known figure for decades. But more interestingly, he was known for being an olympic hero. He embodied the normal ideal for the male image: a superhero athlete. To go from having the public know you as that “macho man” to a dress-wearing, face painted, gorgeous and out woman, must be far from easy. Take the hate mail or negative messages we probably receive, and multiply that by the thousands and maybe even millions. That is what Caitlyn and her familiy goes through.
I fully believe that Caitlyn coming out and living her truth has been difficult but rewarding. While we may not completely agree on how we feel about the massive amounts of media coverage involving this story, or the sentiments surrounding it, we should all be able to applaud Caitlyn. It is not easy for any transgender person to come ? ?out and face the music. We welcome Caitlyn and look forward to seeing what new and cool things she will contribute. If her bravery can help someone, anyone, feel more comfortable living in their truth, it is all worth it.