Monday, August 17, 2015

Caitlyn coming out

We've all heard about Caitlin Jenner's coming out.  She was previously known as the world class Olympic athlete, Bruce Jenner.  Then she maintained her fame through the expert management of her former wife, and mother of two of her children, Kris Kardashian.

Those of us who have loved ones who are transgender, or those whose natal bodies do not agree with their gender already know the bravery it took for Cait to transition.  Most of us have no idea about the additional courage required to transition so incredibly publicly. I for one applaud that courage. Admittedly, however, my feelings are mixed regarding her show I am Cait.

I've watched portions of 2 shows. The first was excruciatingly disappointing and somewhat embarrassing as she, or her producers, steered her conversation from the heartbreak of homeless transgender teens to a discussion of her designer handbag. This evening's episode seems more heartfelt and yet, as the mother of a young woman who had to fight her way to happiness, I'm still concerned.

She has bravely elected to carry the torch to illuminate some of what is the reality of the transgender person. But is her story really the story that the transgender community wants told?  I really don't know-I am not transgender and it would be arrogant for me to speak for that community.  But I've made it my business to try to anticipate how people will react for my daughter's sake, for her safety and for her happiness. Granted, my attempt at anticipating the reactions of others constitutes only an illusion of control I'd like to believe I have; this allows me to believe I can keep my daughter safe.  That being said, I'm wondering if Cait's wealthy approach to coming out of the closet will only serve to alienate people.

Reality shows are often not remotely realistic.  Cait's show, purported to be a depiction of her reality of what it is to be transgender in America, is not most people's reality; this is largely because of her fame, her wealth, her resources and her producers.  Thankfully, she is honest about her struggles and yet, her struggles are packaged in glam in this show; will any viewer ever really "get"what the struggles are really like, simply by viewing her show?

I'm open to keeping my mind open…but admit to having reservations.  Either way, yeah, I say that the lady's got courage.