Welcome to the world, Caitlyn Jenner.
Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, the transgender Olympic champion has just revealed her true self in an exclusive Vanity Fair photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz. The powerful, historic cover marks her first time posing publicly as a trans female.
As Bruce, he is a gold medal-winning track star who set a world record in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He then became a reality TV star in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”. But in recent months, various media outlets began reporting that the 65-year-old reality TV star was noticeably trying to transition into a woman as he was showcasing an increasingly feminine appearance.
The rumours were later confirmed by his mother, Esther Jenner.
At that time, no details regarding her transition journey were revealed to the public and his kids remained mostly mum on his transition into a female. Kim was only quoted as saying:
I guess I’ll just kinda let everyone be curious and, you know, I just feel like that’s really his journey to talk about. I think Bruce should tell his story his way. I think everyone goes through things in life, and I think that story and what Bruce is going through, I think he’ll share whenever the time is right. I think Bruce is very happy, the happiest I’ve ever seen him. He’s, you know, our Dad..so we support him no matter what. When the time is right, he’ll talk about whatever he wants to talk about. It’s his story to talk about and not really mine.
And it looks like the right timing has finally arrived as Caitlyn shared her transition journey during with Pulitzer Prize-winning Vanity Fair contributing editor and author of “Friday Night Lights” Buzz Bissinger.
During the interview, Jenner said her emotional 2-day Vanity Fair photo shoot at her Malibu home was “better” than winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics.
That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you “that a boy, Bruce,” pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.
Jenner also told Bissinger that she had a panic attack the day after the 10-hour facial-feminisation surgery she had in March, though Vanity Fair noted that Jenner has not had genital surgery. Fortunately, a counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center “assured her that such reactions were often induced by pain medication, and that second-guessing was human and temporary”.
Since then, Caitlyn has never looked back as she finally embraced her true self.
She said, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, “You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,” and I don’t want that to happen.”
I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 1, 2015
Now referring to “Bruce” in the past tense, she added:
Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. As soon as the Vanity Fair cover comes out, I’m free.
Though Jenner’s children (from his first 2 marriages) have renewed their relationship with their father, they refused to participate in Caitlyn’s documentary-series for the E! network. Caitlyn was initially “terribly disappointed and terribly hurt”, but has come to accept their decision.
She is also prepared for the criticism that indicated her transition was merely a publicity stunt.
I’m not doing it for money. I’m doing it to help my soul and help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. (I have) house payments and all that kind of stuff. I will never make an excuse for something like that. Yeah, this is a business. You don’t go out and change your gender for a television show. O.K., it ain’t happening. I don’t care who you are.
A number of celebrities and her kids, including Kim Kardashian and Kendall Jenner, have also shown their support to Caitlyn by tweeting:
Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair ? Annie Leibovitz! How beautiful! Be happy, be proud, live life YOUR way! pic.twitter.com/39fryBwUqE
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 1, 2015
be free now pretty bird.
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) June 1, 2015
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) June 1, 2015
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) June 1, 2015
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 1, 2015
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) June 1, 2015
CAITLYN!!!!!!!!!! Love this. So happy for her. https://t.co/YOo4kdBOJl
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) June 1, 2015
In response to Jenner’s July cover, GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) published transgender terminology tips for journalists.
GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said:
By sharing her journey with the world, Caitlyn Jenner is accelerating acceptance of transgender people everywhere and reminds us all how important it is to live as your most authentic self.
Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Programs, Transgender Media, added:
For a transgender person to step into the world as his or her authentic self is a moment of tremendous freedom. The world can now see what Caitlyn Jenner has always known, that she is – and always has been – a woman.
Watch Caitlyn pose for Leibovitz in the exclusive behind-the-scenes video below:
Live and love your life, Caitlyn! We are always behind you ;)