Caitlyn Jenner is arguably the most talked about celebrity in the news these days. Her show, I Am Cait, debuted on Sunday with the first segment focusing on Cait wanting to help the young transgender youth avoid the fate of suicide for being their authentic selves.
Her mission was clear, to help the transgender community become accepted, not only by our society, but for their own self-acceptance as a transgender person. Cait appears to be raising awareness on the issues for the transgender community, even if it is a carefully scripted show that strives to be the most popular in a crowded transgender TV space.
For many, especially the transgender community, I am Cait received favorable reviews, yet there are still many in the trans community who are not fans of Cait and her flamboyant method of garnering attention for the transgender movement, but also for herself as she makes millions building her own brand.
Here are a few of the many anonymous comments that suggest the transgender community is divided on the Caitlyn frenzy and her contribution to the transgender movement:
I wish Bruce Jenner, his children, his ex-wife and the Kardashian clan would just go away. They have had more than their 15 minutes of fame! The Jenner/Kardashian families have done irresponsible and possibly unrepairable damage to just about everything and every body they have touched. And, now they are putting a dent in the transgender community.
Now, I must congratulate them, for they have taken the old Seinfeld television show adage of "nothing" to the new heights with a slick promotional and advertising team and campaign to make millions of dollars. But enough is enough!
How can a group of people, who taken advantage of the system with the help of NBC Universal and the "E" television network, make so much money with little or no talent? Has anybody in either family ever worked? At least the cast on Seinfeld had talent.
Almost daily, Yahoo News and the Huffington Post publish stories and pictures about America's number one dysfunctional family. Readers can follow the exploits of the entire family from the recent "Caitlyn" debacle to the "tanned and braless" pictures of 19-year-old Kendall Jenner. As one Hollywood Reporter writer replied recently, "Who cares?"
It's hard to believe "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" has been the bread winner for the "E" Network for eight years. But how much longer will that last? Ratings have been slipping for the last three years, according to the Nielsen rating company, with barely 1 million viewers (down from 4 million) now tuning in every week night for two to three hours of mindless television. "E" means entertainment. The Kardashians are far from entertaining. Actually, they are pitiful.
Now the latest phenomenon is the "politically correct" debut of Bruce as a woman on the front page of Vanity Fair magazine and at the Espy Awards. As a long-time cross dresser, I wish I could be pampered to look so good.
Few have criticized Bruce for exploiting the transgender culture. For ESPN to give the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Jenner, instead of the late and well deserving Lauren Hill, who despite inoperable brain cancer continued to play college basketball until her death earlier this year, is an abomination. The minute "Caitlyn" started her acceptance speech, I turned off the television. I couldn't take it any more, even though I liked her dress. She does not represent me.
The "new and improved" Bruce is doing more harm than good to the community. He's no more female than I am. He can't hold a candle to pioneers Christine Jorgensen, April Ashley, Renee Richards, Laverne Cox, Candis Cayne, Carmen Carrera or Kristin Beck, just to name a few. Any man with money to waste and a multi-million dollar contract for his own "E" reality series can grow his hair, have facial reconstruction, breast implants and buy a lovely female wardrobe if the $$$ are right.
When the "E" series is complete Bruce can just as easily cut his hair, remove the implants and go back to being Bruce, if he isn't in jail for his role in the deadly auto accident a few weeks before his famed softball interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer. (Isn't it ironic that ABC owns ESPN?) Right now, he is loving the publicity and laughing all the way to the bank.
If Bruce ever takes the final step and has SRS (sexual reassignment surgery), as some of my dear friends have completed in the last few years, I may reconsider my viewpoint. For Bruce to switch his gender from male to female in a few months after the taping of the ABC interview is unrealistic. One does not become a woman overnight. Have you seen him try to walk in heels?
My transitioned sisters have had to jump through fire to become women. Many have been rejected by their family and employer, had to undergo a series of visits to psychiatrists and specialists, and have had to live for up to two years as a female before taking the final irreversible step to womanhood.
The Kardashian's father, Robert, who helped defend OJ Simpson during the notorious 1995 Nicole Brown Simpson murder trial and died of cancer in 2003, must be rolling over in his grave in disgust with his family.
Arthur Ashe, who passed away from AIDs-related pneumonia in 1993 following a blood transfusion during early 1980s heart bypass surgery, may be spinning faster in his grave, embarrassed that his award went to "a man in a dress."
Here’s another comment:
I understand that Caitlyn Jenner’s show is airing on E! this week.
Despite whether Jenner should have received the Arthur Ashe award
(probably not, despite a well scripted and delivered speech) the bigger
question is "are there now too many TV shows and articles depicting high
profile show-biz related transgender people?" An easy target.
Predictably, because of the need to stoke the content machine, the media
jumps onto a subject in unison, over reports it, then moves into
backlash phase – leaving it to die a natural death and then moves onto
another subject which is trivialized in the same way.
While I (of course) have no problem with Jenner's life choice, I'm not a
Caitlyn booster, because of the way it's scripted and turned into
disposable reality fodder.
No doubt, despite the vitriol from the haters (WSJ comments),
perceptions are changing which is good, but at the moment there is just
too much at one time for an audience to absorb and I for one do not want
to be seen by others as a Caitlyn-clone.
I would rather see change coming from gradual real-life understanding of
transgender than force feeding the public through staged reality shows
that don't represent the majority of the TG community. Too late, the
train has left the station; we'll see where it stops. I could be wrong.
What are your thoughts on Caitlyn? Is she helping the transgender community or just feeding her own bank account?