Why Caitlyn Jenner’s new blog series is so important
On Monday, Caitlyn Jenner officially entered the blogosphere with her first post for a special original series on WhoSay called “The Real Me.” The series aims to explore issues in the LGTBQ+ community and to allow LGBTQ+ individuals a platform to tell their stories on their own terms — and Jenner had some amazing things to say.
“Up until now, I have totally isolated myself from the transgender community so I have a lot of catching up to do,” she writes. “I feel such a responsibility to this courageous group to try to get it right and tell all sides of the story. To me, that’s always the biggest question: am I doing it right?”
In the post, Jenner acknowledges that her narrative will never be representative of the majority of transgender women (just like one person’s narrative will never be representative of any identity’s majority). She goes on to say that she is incredibly fortunate for her privilege and the support she has received this year, and that she wants to be able to use that privilege and support as a platform for other trans individuals to have their voices heard. “The Real Me” is one way she hopes to achieve this.
“I’ve heard every horror story there is in the book. You wouldn’t believe the types of ordeals these people have had, how they have had to literally fight for their own survival,” she writes. “Seeing how my new friends have overcome their adversities is such an inspiration. They are so well-adjusted and smart. I’ll be sharing their stories here in the coming weeks and I can’t wait for you to get to know them. They are just like you and me.”
While trans visibility has definitely been on the rise in recent years thanks to Jenner and many other amazing people, we still have a long way to go when it comes to how we talk about and treat gender identity. According to GLAAD, one in five trans people in the U.S. has been denied housing in their lifetimes, and one in ten has been kicked out of housing because of their gender identity. Forge reports that more than 50% of transgender individuals have been the victim of sexual assault and violence, and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that trans individuals (specifically trans women of color) are more likely than any other group to be the victim of hate crimes. According to The Task Force, 41% of transgender individuals have attempted suicide (compared to 1.6% of the general population).
These numbers are heartbreaking and absolutely inexcusable —and it’s only through normalizing a diverse spectrum of stories that we can begin to change them. Trans and gender-nonconforming representation has never been more essential.
“Let’s live our true selves and make a positive difference while doing it,” Jenner ends her blog post. We couldn’t be more inspired to see such an incredible woman lead by example. (You can Jenner’s entire post right here.)
And “The Real Me” isn’t the only way that Jenner is using her celebrity for good. In the most recent trailer for her series I Am Cait, released last night, Jenner is shown speaking with a group of young trans people about how important it is to “hang out with the people that love you and respect you,” before cutting to a shot of her exclaiming, “We’re all beautiful!” It’s the perfect echo to Laverne Cox’s #TransIsBeautiful movement, and even more proof that Jenner is on a path to providing visibility, voice and empowerment to so many who truly deserve it.
(Image via Instagram.)