By now we’re all used to hearing Caitlyn Jenner’s name. She made her debut appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair in June. Revealing pieces of her trans experience in print was a huge step for her personally but also for the trans community and it was about time that she graced the glossy pages again.
The Advocate is a major LGBTQ magazine publication and their February/March edition will be peppered with Caitlyn! She has done a beautiful photo shoot and another candid interview about where she is in her learning and what struggles she has faced thus far.
From the very start she has always said that in her personal life, her main concern about coming out as trans was that she would hurt her children. She said:
“My main concern was really only my kids. I don’t want to do anything to embarrass them.”
But she also recognizes in the interview that there are bigger things at play and by being so open, she might be giving others the confidence to open up a dialogue. She said:
“This is a human condition. It’s not just here in the U.S. It’s everywhere … It’s gut-wrenching. Suicide rates, murder rates … the hatred. There’s just so much work to be done. I personally feel that we opened up a conversation that for so long was swept under the rug. In so many ways like the gay issue, 20, 30, 40 years ago, people were sweeping that then. We’ve opened up the conversation. It’s okay to talk about trans issues.”
One criticism that people of the LGBTQ community have had of Caitlyn is that she is coming to her personal trans journey from a place of privilege and that some of the struggles faced by the non-famous, non-millionaire individuals, she simply cannot speak to. In her Advocate interview she acknowledges that she is “certainly the exception to the rule.”
Being so public with her docuseries, I am Cait, and her appearances on Keeping Up With The Kardashians has sort of made her the poster child for the trans community. As such, she has been on top of her appearance more than ever. But Caitlyn told interviewers that she understands it’s about much more than that. She said:
“It does take a little bit more work if you do go out. You’ve got to at least look good, at least the best you can. But there’s more to life and womanhood than just that. And those are things I’m learning.(…) There’s more to being a woman than hair and makeup. So recently, I’ve been trying to study up on it. What I realized … is how my experience is so different than what a normal woman’s would be growing up – that’s obvious … I will never deal with [getting my period]. So there is so much in life that I need to learn about who I am and be authentic with myself. But I never want to assume that this whole thing called ‘womanhood,’ that I could ever experience all of that. I will be able to live authentically as female, but I’ve missed so much. (…) It does take a little bit more work if you do go out. You’ve got to at least look good, at least the best you can. But there’s more to life and womanhood than just that. And those are things I’m learning.”
It’s 2016 and while there is still a lot of work to be done for trans equality, opening up a conversation between cisgender and transgender people is certainly a step in the right direction. We are all people, after all.