Who is Caitlyn?
by Eshani Chakrabarti on Friday, October 2nd, 2015
Let me start this off with a confession. I consider myself a woman of substance. I love NPR. I can always go for a good episode of the “West Wing”. But like many a teenager in this day and age, I love the Kardashians. I’m always up for a binge session of one of their numerous television programs. I follow all of the Kardashians on Instagram. To be frank, I keep up with the Kardashians. It’s hard not to. Forget the Clintons or the Vanderbilts, the Kardashians are the most famous family in America today, but when Bruce Jenner, the patriarch of the infamous clan came out as transgender, the opinions regarding the famed family drastically changed.
Through an interview with Diane Sawyer, the former Olympian announced to the world that he is, in fact, a woman. Jenner claims that throughout her life she’s struggled with gender identity and has always believed she was a woman. Jenner states in her 20/20 interview that, “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman. People look at me differently. They see me as this macho male, but that female side of me is part of me. That’s who I am. I was not genetically born that way. As of now I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff. In a lot of ways, we’re different, but we still identify as female.”
Jenner debuted her new name on the cover of Vanity Fair’s July issue. She now goes by the name Caitlyn and uses female pronouns. The Kardashian clan’s first names all begin with the letter “K”, but Jenner made the decision to use the letter “C”.
Caitlyn has received great support from the Kardashians and has televised conversations between herself and her family regarding her transition. This past summer she also released her new reality show “I Am Cait” which focuses on her day to day life as a man transitioning into a woman. I’ll be the first to say that much of the Kardashian persona does not involve a lot of substance. The TV shows are superficial at best and often do not relay the best messages to their viewers, but Caitlyn Jenner changes that through calling attention to important LGBT issues. She seeks to use her fame as a tool to influence American attitude towards to transgender people.
Caitlyn Jenner has legally changed her name and gender to fit what she believes is her true self. Recently honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Jenner gave a moving speech describing her struggle to transition. Her speech had a very positive response, and she hopes to help transgender people receive the respect their community deserves.
The Kardashians are often at the heart of today’s media. Most people are bombarded with updates on even the most trivial aspects of the family’s life, but the evidence of Caitlyn Jenner’s bravery and work are changing the way we see the family. GASP board member, Sarah Miller-Bartley (II), explains her admiration for Ms. Jenner, stating, “Caitlyn Jenner has bravely proclaimed her true gender and her pride in it, and the public has been able to see a new perspective on the trans community, through her figuring out her identity, her family and her influence on society as a well- known trans woman.”
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