Caitlyn Jenner made Time magazine’s shortlist for Person of the Year. While the honor ultimately went to German chancellor Angela Merkel, Caitlyn was interviewed by the magazine. One of her comments about appearance apparently did not go over well.
In a blog post titled ‘Still So Much To Learn,’ Caitlyn wrote:
In the first scene of the first episode of I Am Cait, I was up at 4:30 in the morning worrying, “I hope I get it right.”
Since I told the world my truth six months ago, I’ve tried to be a force for good. I’ve met and listened to many people in the transgender community, from trans women of color, to the parents of trans kids who’ve taken their own lives, to people working in the courts and legislatures and media to make the world a better, safer place for trans people. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people tell me their stories. Even now, at the end of this whirlwind year, I still feel like I have so much to learn.
I guess it’s true that there are some things that I have not gotten right. Sometimes this is because I’m still finding out about the issues. Sometimes this is because something that is true for me isn’t true for other people in our community. And sometimes I’ve said things that just come out the wrong way.
And sometimes the media takes one comment out of context—or interprets it to mean something other than what I meant.
In the last week many people have pointed out some mistakes I’ve made. My first reaction was to feel hurt, to wish people would give me more credit for having a big heart, and to know I don’t have a mean bone in my body. But as I’ve thought about it, I guess I’ve come to understand that maybe I have made some mistakes, and I need to make my real feelings more clear.
This week a lot of attention was brought to my comments in my TIME interview, in which I said that my appearance is important to me, that I want people to be at ease when they encounter me, and that people are still uncomfortable if a trans person looks like “a man in a dress.”
I think I caused a lot of hurt with this comment, and I’m truly sorry.
What I was trying to say is that our world really is still a binary one, and that people who look “visibly transgender” sometimes can struggle for acceptance and may be treated poorly by others. And while this may be true, it’s also something that needs to change.
Some people look gender non-conforming because they want to look that way – they don’t want to conform to society’s expectations. Those people have every right to look and present exactly as they choose. And then there are other people who don’t have the resources to access the medical procedures that would help them look the way they would like to look. Procedures, incidentally, that most health insurance plans refuse to cover. All of these people are my brothers and my sisters, and I am fighting alongside them, too.
My comments probably made it seem like all I care about is fashion, or makeup, or appearance. I can tell you I really enjoy all of that—it’s who I am. It’s the world I come from, and as a person in the media I have certain expectations for myself. But I am only one person. There are a lot of ways of being trans…
You can read Caitlyn’s entire post at her website.
Caitlyn isn’t in an easy position, that’s for sure. She has a lot of expectations heaped on her. Yet it’s also clear that she comes from a position of privilege, and I think that’s what’s hard to reconcile, like her not wanting to change her gender at her golf club. I mean, how can you choose where you do and don’t want to identify as a woman? Yet I can understand not wanting to give up a position of privilege. Who wants to do that? And she is part of the Kardashian clan: of course appearance matters! What do you think about her comments? I think you have to give Caitlyn credit for being honest. This does just sound like a misunderstanding, doesn’t it?
Photos by FAMEFLYNET