Why today is Caitlyn Jenner’s most important birthday yet

At 66, Caitlyn Jenner has celebrated a lot of birthdays. But today is undoubtedly her most important one yet. That’s because it’s not her 66th birthday. . . it’s her first.

It’s been a big year of firsts for Caitlyn, who officially introduced herself to the world in June via her Vanity Fair cover — a cover which almost immediately joined the ranks of iconic moments in American history. The cover allowed her to really unveil her true identity, which she had been hiding from the world for over six decades.

“If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen,” Caitlyn told Vanity Fair back in June. “. . .Bruce always had to tell a lie. He was always living that lie. Every day he always had a secret, from morning to night. Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. As soon as the Vanity Fair cover comes out, I‘m free.”

That day may have been totally groundbreaking, but Caitlyn hasn’t stopped there. For the past four months, she has been using her influence and celebrity platform to tell her story in an effort to make the world a better place for transgender individuals. Take, for example, her new E! series I Am Cait, which aims to paint the personal life of Caitlyn and increase trans visibility — as well as address the disturbingly high rate of suicides in the trans community.

Yes, 65 was a big year, and today, it’s her birthday — her first birthday as Caitlyn. In fact, she considers this her very first birthday, she said at a party launching the transgender mentoring Web series Beautiful As I Want To Be. At the party, the crowd celebrated her birthday with cake and a toast, Vanity Fair reports. “Technically it is my ‘first’ birthday, and I got to share it with a couple of my daughters today,” she told the crowd. “We had a wonderful lunch. But, certainly, since coming out, this is my first birthday.”

Ever since Caitlyn’s debut in June, she has taken the world by storm in the best way possible. Though she admits that she is much more fortunate than the average transgender individual due to her financial success and supportive family, she has used her fame to stand up for what’s right. She has made her identity acceptance an example for thousands around the world who may be struggling with the same thing. And though she has faced criticism surrounding her decisions, she isn’t backing down.

Caitlyn has had 66 birthdays. But today is her first true celebration. Happy first birthday, Caitlyn, and thank you for proving to us all that it’s never too late to live life on your own terms.

(Images via Instagram.)

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