On Sunday, July 26, reality series “I Am Cait” premiered on E!, documenting Caitlyn Jenner’s public transition and her development as a spokesperson for the transgender community. The series aims to represent the struggles faced by transgender folks as authentically as possible. Jenner hopes to use her platform to spotlight issues faced by the transgender community to help others better understand and accept lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer family members. The premiere was a series of emotional, profoundly honest and thought-provoking moments, and we at the Clog felt compelled to share some of the highlights with you.
1. Attention is drawn to the importance of using preferred gender pronouns.
Throughout the episode’s conversations, Caitlyn’s family members struggle with using “she” rather than “he.” When Pam Mettler, Jenner’s sister, accidentally uses a male pronoun, she apologizes and corrects herself. It’s a small adjustment to make, but it does take some getting used to, and the usage of preferred pronouns is so important in properly acknowledging someone’s identity.
2. Esther Jenner, Caitlyn’s mother, expresses unconditional love for her daughter.
“I was so proud of Bruce when he stood on that podium receiving that gold medal in Montreal,” she said. “I had tears, and the American flag was going up in the middle, and I thought that I could never be more proud of him. And you know, I was wrong. Because I am more proud of him for the courage that he has shown. I love him with all my heart, and I certainly love her with all my heart.”
Kim dropped by Cait’s house for a visit, with husband rapper Kanye West by her side. Kanye notoriously refused to be on the Kardashians’ reality show but made an exception to show support for Caitlyn, commending her strength. “I think this is one of the strongest things that have happened in our existence as human beings, that are so controlled by perception,” he said. “You couldn’t have been up against more.”
4. Caitlyn visits the family of Kyler Prescott.
Kyler Prescott was a young transgender teen who committed suicide in May. Jenner had a particularly emotional reaction to the news and flew out to meet the Prescott family and attend a memorial service for Kyler. The dialogue with the Prescott family is part of Jenner’s mission to draw the public’s attention to the stories and struggles of transgender people who are not as privileged as she is. Jenner discusses how many transgender youths don’t have access to certain resources or don’t have the right support system, and then “suicide becomes the only option, and that is something that has to change. This is not something people should have to die over.”
5. An empowering message that is so much bigger than just one person.
“I Am Cait” is not just a reality show meant to document Jenner’s transition from Bruce to Caitlyn. Rather, it is a docu-series meant to honestly portray the life of one person experiencing transition, while drawing attention to the larger issues faced by the transgender community. The series premiere looks to promise impactful television that will spark conversations necessary for the progress our society has only just begun.
Image source: Disney | ABC Television Group via Creative Commons
Contact Rayanne Piaña at [email protected].