Time Magazine revealed their Person of the Year list this month and reality star Caitlyn Jenner placed at number seven.
Jenner was interviewed by Time about her life as a transgender person and her struggles with coming out. When asked about her position in the LGBTQ+ community Jenner responded that she thinks it is important for her “to try to project a good image for this community”. She elaborated on the subject by saying:
“I think it’s much easier for a trans woman or a trans man who authentically kind of looks and plays the role. So what I call my presentation. I try to take that seriously. I think it puts people at ease. If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable. So the first thing I can do is try to present myself well. I want to dress well. I want to look good.”
These comments have infuriated people who are a part of the transgender community. Many of them can’t see why Caitlyn Jenner is a spokesperson for their community when she lacks knowledge of many of the issues that trans people face. Jenner is a privileged white woman who was able to afford everything she wanted when she transitioned. Many people don’t have that.
Being a trans man or woman isn’t about how well you can pass as a cisgender. It is just about being the person you are. You shouldn’t have to look a certain way in order to not make other people uncomfortable because it is not about them. Caitlyn Jenner’s comments are so similar to what many transphobic people are saying. When she is celebrated as a spokesperson for the trans community and makes comments like this, it is basically like saying that her statements are okay.
Transphobic comments like this aren’t okay though – no matter who you are. These comments are harmful to the LGTBQ+ community but a lot of people don’t know that, because there aren’t many other trans people with the same platform as Jenner.
This isn’t the first time that Caitlyn Jenner upsets the LGBTQ+ community. Jenner is a registered Republican and has made many homophobic remarks in the past. She has told that she is against same-sex marriage which confused a lot of people. They called her a hypocrite for wanting rights for the transgender community when she didn’t think it was important that the gay community had the same rights as everyone else.
It is important that a person like Caitlyn Jenner, who has many followers, is out as a trans woman. It is amazing that she is finally at a place in life where she feels safe enough to come out. However, it is dangerous that the media has crowned her a spokesperson for an entire community when she still has so much to learn. Jenner has acknowledged that her experience isn’t like most other people’s, but she still doesn’t understand what those people deal with everyday. Her comments shouldn’t be accepted by the media as the truth. It is important that we give the same attention to other trans men and women who don’t have the same experiences as Caitlyn Jenner. This way, people outside the transgender community will hear more than one person’s thoughts and opinions.
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