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When peo­ple around the world first found out about the Olympic gold medal­list’s public trans­for­ma­tion from Bruce Jen­ner to Cait­lyn Jen­ner, they were ei­ther shocked or didn’t par­tic­u­larly care.

For those who were shocked or in­trigued, I Am Cait is an eye-open­ing show into the re­al­i­ties of be­ing trans­gen­der and the chal­lenges fac­ing the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity.

The story of how the fa­ther of the first fam­ily of re­al­ity TV and for­mer Olympic ath­lete – who won a de­cathlon gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Mon­treal – is tran­si­tion­ing from a man to a woman is a pow­er­ful one.

I Am Cait is hon­est on many lev­els. It ex­poses the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties ex­pe­ri­enced by Jen­ner and oth­ers in the trans com­mu­nity.

But as a Keep­ing Up with the Kar­dashi­ans by-prod­uct, the first episode could not end with­out a touch of Kar­dashian shal­low­ness.

The show’s au­then­tic­ity lev­els dropped with Kim Kar­dashian’s at­tempt at a mes­sage of sup­port: “All eyes on you now. You can’t dis­ap­point.” But the crux of the mat­ter was re­stored by show­ing how Jen­ner’s in­ner con­flicts about her trans­for­ma­tion took shape.

The first episode shows how she wor­ries about her sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity to the trans com­mu­nity, fret­ting about “get­ting it right”. “Peo­ple are dy­ing over this is­sue,” she re­minds us while pre­sent­ing the shock­ing sui­cide sta­tis­tics in the trans com­mu­nity.

I Am Cait could very well change lives and pro­vide hope for many young peo­ple go­ing through the same jour­ney.

The most dif­fi­cult part for the show’s suc­cess will be to en­sure a bal­ance be­tween ed­u­ca­tion and en­ter­tain­ment.

I am glad there’s fi­nally a plat­form for ad­dress­ing and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple through­out the globe about the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity. – Them­bisile Dzonzi


SELF-DIS­COV­ERY Cait­lyn Jen­ner shares her per­sonal jour­ney in an hon­est and en­gag­ing man­ner

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