Caitlyn Jenner: Transgender, Passionate, and Flawed
Caitlyn Jenner made her introduction to the world on the cover of Vanity Fair this past June. Since then, she has received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year, and broke the Guinness Book of World Record’s fastest time to one million Twitter followers. But Caitlyn’s coming out party has not been everything the LGBT+ community had hoped it would be.
In addition to all of her shining accolades, Caitlyn has had a number of public appearances in the last several months that have damaged her reputation with the community, of which she has only recently been deemed as an advocate. Caitlyn described herself as a traditionalist when it came to the issue of gay marriage during her interview with Ellen Degeneres in September. Additionally, Caitlyn has received backlash for her seemingly flippant opinion of the popular Halloween costume modeled after her Vanity Fair cover. And not least of all, much criticism has been directed toward Caitlyn through social media for a perceived lack of appreciation and understanding of the privilege she has as a white, rich, and famous trans person.
Lauren Hurst, a student at Ball State University and active member of the university’s LGBT+ community Spectrum, said that many trans people live in a different reality than Caitlyn. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, trans people have much higher rates of poverty, gender and racial bias, and suicide attempts prompted by poverty, harassment, and sexual assault.
“It’s a hard pill to swallow,” Lauren said. “[The LGBTQ+ community] is angry because she’s living the life. Somebody famous comes out, but then we have all this negative stuff.”
Lauren identifies as lesbian, and feels that she dealt with a similar identity crisis that all LGBTQ+ people go through, including Caitlyn. But the difference, Lauren said, is that she did not have the same resources on her road to self-discovery. She turned to IndianaYouthGroup.org for resources to learn about her sexuality. Though gender identity and sexuality are two separate concepts within the LGBTQ+ community, Caitlyn’s ambivalence toward gay marriage has created a rift within the LGBTQ+ community.
“Everyone’s perceptions of gender and sexuality are different,” Lauren said. “But Caitlyn is still on the fence, and that takes away from the LGBT+ community.”
To continue reading, visit BallBearingsMag.com