Caitlyn Jenner: Not The Trans Hero We Deserve

Caitlyn Jenner: Not The Trans Hero We Deserve

Caitlyn has our support as a trans woman, but, as a trans hero, she is not the advocate the community needs.

When Caitlyn Jenner first stepped forward and told the world "I am Cait," the transgender community and allies rejoiced. While there have, of course, been several other notable transgender figures over the past few years, Caitlyn received by far the most attention, and it's probably because we all walked with her during her coming out and her transition, and, now, we are listening to her while she completely destroys every ounce of respect she had within the transgender community.

As a part of the LGBTQ+ community myself and a huge ally to transgender issues, Caitlyn is no longer the advocate that we had so been hoping she would be. While I support her as a fellow woman and as a transgender individual, I can no longer agree that Caitlyn is an ally to our cause. Here are a few reasons why:

Caitlyn opposes same-sex marriage.

During an interview with Ellen Degeneres, one of the most popular lesbians out today, Caitlyn openly announced that she was not at all for same-sex marriage. While there was a slight indication that these views may have changed during Cailtyn's transition, Ellen seems to be quite convinced that Caitlyn still opposes marriage equality. For Caitlyn to have become such a huge figure for the LGBTQ+ community, this is especially alarming and only allows space for homophobic individuals to further oppose fair and equal treatment to married queer couples.

She is not an accurate representation of trans struggles.

Caitlyn is not like your average coming-out story, but her story has certainly received a lot more attention than that of the average trans person. She does not reflect the difficulty that many trans individuals go through before, during, and after their transitions. In fact, many trans individuals do not fit themselves into one box of femininity or masculinity based on their gender change, and are likely to not ever really consider themselves as cisgender in their new roles, because being trans is not a black and white line between being a man or a woman. Caitlyn, however, in all of her fame, has constantly presented herself as the picture of femininity, poise, and glamour, while there are still trans women out there who, while they identify as women, may never want to be as feminine as Caitlyn. Caitlyn's prominence in the media makes this an issue for others who are coming out because she has set a standard of what one should be after transitioning, but not all trans women will meet the standards that have been laid out for them by Caitlyn.

Caitlyn has downplayed the importance of using correct pronouns when referring to the trans community.

I honestly just don't understand how Caitlyn is accepting of people refusing to accept her new identity. I get that it's hard, and accidents are accidents, but it is so important to the trans community that we treat them with the respect they deserve, and a part of that is that we honor the pronouns and the gender they have chosen to embody. It is not okay to ignore their wishes because of cisgender ignorance or intolerance for trans rights. For someone who is struggling with the identity crisis of being born to the wrong body, being reminded of that through pronouns is bound to be hurtful.

Most recently, Caitlyn voiced that she openly supports Ted Cruz for President.

Caitlyn has received a lot of backlash for being historically republican, but, for me, that's not really the issue here. For most people, it's completely understandable that they would have their personal preferences for who will be the next president. However, since Caitlyn has chosen to endorse Cruz, there is not much more respect that I can salvage for her. Caitlyn could not have chosen a less-respected candidate for trans issues than Cruz. Cruz does not support trans equality, and, as a transgender woman, one would think that Caitlyn would have higher standards for a presidential candidate.

These are just a few of the things that Caitlyn has done to prove that she is not worth the unequivocal support of the trans community. While we can remain her allies as a part of our LGTBQ+ network, she is not an advocate for trans needs and rights, and it's best that we put our faith in someone more likely to put their faith in our trans community... And in case you needed an example:

Cover Image Credit: Vanity Fair

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