The first few moments of I am Cait shows Caitlyn Jenner, make up free in bed as she’s just woken up from another sleepless night at 4:30 AM. She talks about how what she is doing is so influential for the LGBT community that she needs to do it right. She embraces how hard it is to live as a transgender woman and laments that people are dying over the lack of acceptance in society.
After we experience Caitlyn introducing her documentary, we see the celebration that Caitlyn and her personal team of stylists and confidants are having after the release of the Vanity Fair magazine cover. You can feel the excitement and can’t help but feel so proud of Caitlyn as she admires herself on the magazine:
“I don’t think I have ever been more excited about life than I am right now. Living my true identity and hopefully going to make a difference in the world. That’s my mission”
The next scene shows all of Jenner’s children expressing via social media or telephone how proud they are of her. However, later in the show she talks about how most of the kids have said they are supportive, but either refuse to meet the newly transitioned Caitlyn or just have avoided it all together. Since her children are mostly public figures, celebrities, it would appear they have publicly claimed they are supportive of Caitlyn, but actions speak much louder than words. This is the part of the show where I began to get quite sad. It is so hard for her to do this and she needs all the support she can get, yet most of the family won’t come and see her. Kim and Kanye as well as Kylie Jenner eventually do come and see Caitlyn in person during the show, but considering Caitlyn has 6 children biologically and all together 9 children through Kris (stepchildren Caitlyn helped raised) you would think more than just 2 of the 9 would come see and support their father.
From what Caitlyn described, I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be a closeted transgender. No, I am not claiming to know what it feels like, I have just come up with an analogy of what it would feel like to be trapped in the wrong body. Keep in mind I am not transgender so I do not know what it would actually feel like. However, I sat and thought about it last night and came up with an analogy:
The pain of being transgender is like being stuck in a relationship and feeling that awful dread of needing to dump the person, but can’t because the person is yourself.
I recall being in a relationship where I had this gut feeling that I needed to end it. I thought the feeling would go away, but after one day I couldn’t possibly keep lying to myself. It was exhausting. Every time I heard from this person I would get terrible anxiety. All I could think about was alleviating this pain felt. Finally, after the break up I was so relieved. Imagine being the person on the other side of the mirror rather than being in a bad relationship. Every time you would look in the mirror you would feel a deep sense of dread because you’re living a lie and the person on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside. The only way to get rid of the sense of dread and guilt is to change who you are physically and in unfortunate cases, some people don’t see this as possible due to society’s harsh conceptions of normality and end up terminating their life, a very permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Caitlyn says it best, people should not be dying over this. We, as a society should be more accepting to others struggles, differences and outward appearances. At the end of the day, (shockingly) people don’t look at others and think, that’s another living, breathing human with thoughts and feelings of their own, I wouldn’t want to upset them because it hurts so much when other people are mean to me. No, many people are desensitized to the fact that other humans have feelings and they continue to judge and discriminate people and groups. We need to work together as a society to become more understanding. Unfortunately this is easier said than done.
If you were expecting something similar to Keeping Up With The Kardashians, this show is not for you. This show is inspiring, refreshing and honest. I’ve always loved Bruce Jenner and I love Caitlyn just as much-because it’s the same person.
The show is on E! Sunday Evenings and is an hour long 8 part series. I highly recommend it.
Thanks for reading