Caitlyn Jenner brings transgender woman to the cover of Vanity Fair
Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner

Dear Readers,

Unless you’ve been living in a cave this last week you would have heard of Caitlyn Jenner’s big reveal on the cover of Vanity Fair to a whirlwind of press. Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, Olympic Gold Medalist and TV Star, Caitlyn revealed her name and her true feminine body for the first time. The Guardian calls her “life affirming, provocative and downright fabulous“, and many other news outlets have followed suit with praise for her courage and beauty. Yet in the last week we have have learned a lot about ourselves and about being a woman in the world today. So, just what have we learned?

The Transgender Community is (more) Broadly Accepted (than we used to be)

Not a day went by when I didn’t hear a positive story on the news, or a positive comment from friends outside of the transgender community. Caitlyn’s coming out has given many in our community a way to explain what they are feeling – her eloquence in her interview has given many words, and her beauty and poise has allowed others to share their hopes for their feminine self more completely. This has inspired a wave of transgender women in various stages of transition creating their own Vanity Fair covers you can find more covers on the myvanityfaircover Tumblr, or make your own.

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Not Every Trans Person has the Same Privileges as Caitlyn (and not every trans person aspires to cisnormative standards)

Laverne Cox, a transgender actress who stars in Orange is the New Black was on the cover of Time magazine last year, and had some moving words to share about Caitlyn’s cover. In particular this sentiment touched me, “Now, there are many trans folks because of genetics and/or lack of material access who will never be able to embody these standards. More importantly many trans folks don’t want to embody them and we shouldn’t have to to be seen as ourselves and respected as ourselves. It is important to note that these standards are also informed by race, class and ability among other intersections.”

Woman are Judged Differently than Men

Jon Stewart on Caitlyn Jenner

Jon Stewart on Caitlyn Jenner

Jon Stewart shared some insightful words when discussing Caitlyn Jenner, in particular regarding comments that overwhelmingly reference her appearance: “Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen,” Stewart said. “But now you’re a woman, which means your looks are really the only thing we care about.” A few days ago I wrote about being a woman, and how much harder it can be. Being judged primarily on your appearance and not your abilities is something that every woman has experienced, and the difference is never quite so start as when you first step foot into a woman’s shoes.

We Still Have More Work to Do

Amidst the plethora of positive and affirming comments there were still noisy clangs of hate and bigotry. I’m not going to link to any of them, since I’m against spreading vileness and spite. Yet even though there are still those who haven’t yet accepted the transgender community, my soul brims with hope. The overwhelming majority of coverage I saw was positive. There were even moments when others came to understand our struggle as a viral Facebook post on True Bravery took an Ironic Twist – what started out as minimizing Caitlyn’s courage ended up affirming the struggle we all go through.

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Caitlyn, you are beautiful, but more than beautiful you are courageous. Thank you!

What Has Caitlyn’s Coming Out Meant To You?

Please take a moment to share your thoughts and comments below. What has her coming out meant to you? How has this changed your outlook on life, your plans for tomorrow or your thinking for today?

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5 years ago

I’ve always thought I was too ” male ” to ever pass as a woman, even with the best transition techniques. However, Caitlyns story kind of makes me rethink this.

5 years ago

I think it is great that she came out. She looks great and she as the right to be who she wants to be. God bless her.

5 years ago

you would have to had been from another planet to not have observed the swift change in attitudes from the “regular” community over the past few years. Now–no longer looking over my shoulder but rather owning it with minimal blowback.Do note that women are by far the most accepting and friendly.

JinianVictoria Herdina
5 years ago

Bravo. I am glad she can be her true self. Some words to think about now……..she is going to be judged now strictly on her looks her past skills are going to be irrelevant. Secondarily to this if she fails (and she will) to look this good everytime she is out in the public eye she is going to be mocked and put down as a REGULAR THING. She can forget about being able to go casual or grubby without makeup unless she is at home privately ( and perhaps not even then if the photogs can get a glimpse… Read more »

5 years ago

as her $25MM net worth grows, I believe she’s painting a picture that none of us can (orwant to) live up to. I’m glad she’s happy but wish there was no media circus.

Charlotte Deneice Wi (@CharlotteDenece)
5 years ago

I’d love to transition as she did,but not lucky enough to have the money she does. I wish her the best.

5 years ago

I am happy for Caitlyn. part of me wishes Caitlyn’s story of transition could be mine. But I wouldn’t feel complete without a uterus and the rest of the genetic female equipment. to me it would be just a half of the needed correction.

5 years ago

I have become a fan of this web site. I have seen part of the first interview of this person and there was one statement that still bugs me today, “you Will never know when I have the surgery because it’s too degrading.” Know my query is, is the fact of being a woman or what. It heart me and made me angry because not only that I would like to trans. But woman are not lesser creatures, and I can’t believe no one cought that. Stephanie.

5 years ago

I say, “Good for her!” She inspires me to be my true self in spite of my not having the same resources. You go girl!

Samantha Jane
5 years ago

Jenner’s transition really has no impact for me, as she is famous, connected to the Kardashians, and has way more resources than someone like me, so I’m glad you mentioned that her status does not represent us. She does stand as a role model for people who want to transition, although I still find it odd that her transition was so late in life, and after having children. Personally, the reason I’ve stayed away from relationships is because I have an understanding of who I am, and do not want to get involved with someone who may not agree with… Read more »

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