OH Caitlyn with a C, never a K, Jenner, what to do with you? When it finally came out that you were indeed transitioning to a female, I was in awe of you. I mean, I do actually think it was super brave to do it in such a public fashion with all of the world watching. I guess 2015 was a different time, as we didn’t quite realize how racist/sexist/homophobic the country still is until we got Trump (President Donald Trump! Think about that again for a second. It will never NOT be shocking) in the White House, but even so, I think it was so important for the trans community to have such a popular and public figure leading the charge. There are so many misconceptions about marginalized groups and here was a KARDASHIAN-ADJACENT person AND a former Olympic gold-medalist who was a poster boy for American masculinity coming out and saying hey, I am actually a woman. This was a BIG DEAL.
And a BIG BUT.
Then Caitlyn did some…. not great things. First, it seemed like she was not really concerned about Kris Jenner or the Kardashian trio’s feelings on the matter of her transition, which seemed shitty as she did raise those girls and was married to Kris for more than twenty years. I mean, own your true self but maybe also recognize that everyone around you might need a moment to adjust and also everyone in the WORLD is watching for their reactions and waiting to pounce on ANYTHING that seems less than 100% supportive. We would all like to think we are supportive and loving to our family and would never falter in the face of any news like this, but I imagine it is a very different situation when it happens to you.
And then there is the whole thing that Caitlyn doesn’t support gay marriage, was VERY SUPORTIVE OF TED CRUZ (I mean, read that again and wrap your mind around it) and, in 2016 and beyond, was still a very conservative Republican.
HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! I mean, sure, Caitlyn’s experience with transitioning was absolutely going to be easier than 99.9% of other people going through the same thing because she has money, status and power. But how she could acknowledge this and recognize it and then turn around and support THE VERY PEOPLE who are trying to ignore the trans community at best and erase it at worst is mind boggling. Even VERY REPUBLICAN REPUBLICANS are not cool with what is happening with this administration.
ONTO THE BOOK! First off, Caitlyn doesn’t read this herself, which pissed me off until she said it was because she is severely dyslexic and it is challenging for her. The book opens with Bruce giving a motivational speech to a sales team somewhere and then spending the evening putting on a dress (one of Kris’s that he stretched out and she didn’t notice, shocking), make-up (pilfered from the Kardashian girls, natch) and a wig and walking around the hotel as a woman. A note on pronouns- I am going to use he/him when talking about Bruce for clarity purposes- I am not trying to be offensive, just clear in who I am talking about. Bruce knows this is incredibly risky as he is very tall and could be recognized at any moment (although, if you saw a woman that sorta looked like Bruce Jenner in the late 90s would you have EVER thought that must be Bruce in a dress? I somehow doubt it).
So then we jump into Bruce’s childhood, which honestly, is kind of a snooze. He mentions his very conservative parents slash upbringing again and again in an attempt (I am guessing) to justify his political leanings as an adult. Again, I understand that values can be ingrained in you from childhood, but I also imagine that his parents who were born around the turn of the last century, weren’t really much on discussing trans rights in a way that Caitlyn understands AS A TRANS WOMAN. Anyway, Bruce was very dyslexic as a child and hated school except for sports. He was a very fast runner and was generally good at any athletic endeavor. Bruce was an average child except that he always felt wrong in his body. From an early age, he liked going into his mother’s closet in a way that his young brain couldn’t quite understand. Even though Bruce didn’t like school, he ends up going to a tiny religious college in Iowa to play football and ends up injuring himself. However, he does meet his coach that introduces him to the decathlon which ultimately will change the course of his life…. can we get to the Kris Jenner goss yet?!