It's been less than 24 hours and the media can not get enough of Bruce's transition to a woman, completely upstaging Kim and Kanye's pregnancy announcement. Yesterday, Caitlyn Jenner took to Twitter to reveal her new identity through a photo shoot with photographer Anne Leibovitz for Vanity Fair and the hashtag #CallMeCaitlyn. Caitlyn has broken a record for the fastest growing twitter account previously set by President Obama just two weeks ago. As of right now, Jenner has 2 million followers and it hasn't even been a full day. Hashtag: #BreakTheInternet. My personal opinion: I love everything about this. I love that she forged her own identity by breaking away from the reign of Kris Jenner and using a "C" instead of a "K", showing that she is her own woman, and she's doing things her own way. Plus Caitlyn is snatched (read: she looks really good) which is expected; the Kardashian/Jenner clan does not get to the level that they're at now without realizing that image is everything, something I'm sure the former Olympian knows first hand.
Caitlyn's recent transformation opens the door for communication about the transgender community and sheds light to the inequalities that they face everyday. Studying gender identity and sexual orientation in my Master's program opened my eyes to the harsh realities that transgender men and women face. I could not imagine waking up everyday, feeling that I am supposed to be someone that I am not, like I'm trapped in a body that does not belong to me. I imagine that it would be similar to the feeling ofwhen you're in a situation that you know you're not supposed to be in, but you don't know how to get out; or that you're living somewhere but it doesn't quite feel like home? That uneasiness that something isn't settled, something is not complete. I could only assume that's how transgender people feel everyday and because of that, I believe a little empathy and compassion is needed in these situations, no matter how you feel about the issue.
Caitlyn is in a unique position when it comes to the transgender community. Unlike many transgender men and women, Jenner has the power, fame and money to make a seamless transition from man to woman, a reality that many are not privileged to have today. Her transition marks a pivotal point in pop culture and I hope that Jenner will use this platform to speak openly about the issue so that others are aware. I would hate to see her use this as an opportunity for fame rather than awareness, which some might say is the whole purpose of the Kardashians/Jenners. Regardless of where you stand, supporting transgender men and women does not mean that you have to support their sexual orientation (completely different issue that can be brought up at another time). Kindness and love to everyone costs nothing to you, yet means everything to the next person. I think we should keep that in mind moving forward.
I'm curious to know how my readers feel on this issue, so let's keep the conversation going below. Feel free to comment even if your thoughts are different from others. I promise your opinions are safe with me. :)
Note: Whether you are for or against, please do not cite statistical information without a source.
All photographs are work of Anne Leibovitz.