CAITLYN JENNER IS THE MOST FAMOUS TRANS WOMAN ON THE PLANET. FELLOW TRANS WOMAN REBECCA MANNING FINDS THAT SHE DOESN’T ENVY HER ONE BIT
The hottest and most famous trans woman on the planet right now, Caitlyn Jenner, is getting coverage in magazines, social media, TV, radio and most importantly at the water cooler. Of course for those of us in the know about trans issues and followers of “the scene”, we have seen this coming for a while. Reports that Bruce was growing his hair, his skin was looking softer and he wearing nail polish, all at a time when it wasn’t fancy dress season, made us aware that Bruce was a-changing.
As I’ve said before, preparation is key in any transition and there’s an awkward time before you announce to the world that you are transitioning. This is where the uncomfortable questions arise. Why have you got your ears pierced? Why is your hair longer? Why have you got rid of the facial hair? It’s the time you fight with your brain which is telling you it’s not too late to just turn your back on this path and give up on all this transitioning nonsense.
Now that was bad enough for me with friends and colleagues questioning what was happening but when you have the world looking at you, it must be an enormous pressure.
Speaking of pressure, I rarely recommend that anyone transitioning put themselves into the spotlight, because, having worked in the media for over a decade, any platform can be a cruel place with its own agenda and that’s without what their audience may have to say.
It takes a strong person to put yourself out there, as transition is full of highs, lows and a lot of mistakes. If, like me, you undertake a more private affair, those mistakes and lows can be kept fairly small scale and low key and forgotten about until one day enough time has past to make them an anecdote at a house party.
Of course with Caitlyn this was never going to be possible, she was part of the Kardashian setup, a phenomenon of the 21st century, where cameras following “celebrities” around supposedly makes entertaining television. I’m sure John Logie Baird would have been proud.
Caitlyn was always going to find it more difficult to transition privately than to just come out and say, “Here I am”, and let’s face it she has done well. I’m a big fan of removing the pressure of secrecy, as you risk stepping out of one closet and into another.
It also goes to show that if you can “stage manage” your transition, then you can exploit a heck of a lot of opportunities. The best wardrobes, stylists and a TV show would change a lot of the poor outcomes for most of us transitioning, and this is where the problem lies.
In our own trans community, Caitlyn has come up for a lot of stick, vile hatred and damnation. There is an understandable resentment as the have and have-nots of the trans community realise the massive chasm of being broke, trans and at the mercy of the NHS compared to Hollywood lifestyle transitioning.
I would say that she pays the price of the fame and fortune by being centre stage in a country