The Student News Site of Saratoga High School

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

‘I am Cait’ raises awareness for transgender community

I am ashamed to say that before April of this year, when Bruce Jenner came out as Caitlyn Jenner, I was almost completely unaware of the transgender civil rights movement. Like many other people in the world, I didn’t have anything or anyone to tell me and show me all that I didn’t know.

For instance, I didn’t know that more than one in four trans people has experienced assault. I didn’t know that more than three out of four have faced workplace discrimination. Before April, I didn’t even know that I should be aware of these things.

Caitlyn Jenner has opened up a forum for discussion for everyone who is willing to join. With her new show “I am Cait” on E!, she is able to reach a wide range of audiences to get her message across. It is through this method of education that the trans rights movement is gaining momentum.

And because this TV show is one of the first high-profile efforts to raise awareness for the trans rights movement, Caitlyn naturally feels the weight of her responsibility to portray the struggles of being transgender as accurately and as honestly as possible.

After waking up at 4:30 a.m. one morning when she was unable to sleep, she confided, “We don’t want people dying over this. We don’t want people murdered over this stuff. What a responsibility I have towards this community! Am I going to do everything right? Am I going to say the right things? Do I project the right image? … I just hope I get it right.”

Caitlyn’s coming out has already had a huge impact on the world, and for her bravery, she was the proud recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. But Caitlyn’s win sparked much controversy, and many critics claimed that the other nominees, like Lauren Hill and Noah Galloway, were far more deserving. Their biggest reason was only that sitting in front of a camera, like Caitlyn did, required no courage at all.

This demonstrates the very reason why Caitlyn’s show is not only advantageous but also necessary to show the public the truth behind what it takes to be transgender. Caitlyn’s family could have easily decided to disown her, just as many families who are not in the public eye have disowned their own children. Caitlyn could have lost the support of her fans all around the world for her decision to come out. But she took a risk and bared her soul for the world to see, just so that she could relate her journey to others.

In the trailer for “I am Cait,” Caitlyn says, “So many people go through life and they never deal with their own issues, no matter what the issues are. Ours happen to be gender identity. But how many people go through life, and just waste their entire life because they never deal with themselves, to be who they are?”

If Caitlyn’s courage helped even one person in that situation, she deserves that award and so much more.

It is even harder for some people to wrap their minds around Caitlyn’s transition, as Bruce Jenner, who won the 1976 Olympics men’s decathlon, was seen as an über masculine, athletic epitome of a man. People are now forced to redefine gender identity and what they once perceived as the norm, as they consider society’s progression.

“Isn’t it great that maybe someday you’ll be normal?” Jenner asks. “Put it this way: I’m the new normal.”

I’ll admit it: When Caitlyn Jenner came out, I didn’t magically become the biggest supporter of the trans rights movement. It took time for me to understand the circumstances and the nuances of gender identity.

But Caitlyn Jenner got us talking about the formerly taboo subject. And that’s the best thing we can do: talk about it.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Saratoga Falcon

Your donation will support the student journalists of Saratoga High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Saratoga Falcon

Comments (0)

All The Saratoga Falcon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *