Pride Life Magazine - - SPONSORED FEATURE -

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

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