Welcome to the world, Caitlyn Jenner!
Caitlyn made her debut on a much-celebrated Vanity Fair cover that was revealed Monday, June 1. While there were some who were less than enthused about the transition from Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner – Drake Bell, for instance – most who have been interviewed about this most public transition have been incredibly supportive. Jenner is incredibly fortunate that her family has been supportive of the transition, though it was no doubt very challenging for many.
Not all transgendered individuals have that good fortune. According to a wide-ranging study on suicide among those who identify as transgender or gender nonconforming, 41 percent of that population have attempted suicide at some point, a figure which is nine times the national average. The suicide risk becomes incredibly high for those who have experienced violence at some point in their lives, such as physical or sexual assault, and among those who became homeless because of gender identity bias, the risk of suicide climbed to 69 percent. Some 6,400 people were interviewed for this study, and while it is uncertain whether this figure represents the entire populace of transgendered individuals for the U.S., it is clear that suicide rates are extremely high for that segment of the population.
Kris Jenner, the former Bruce’s ex-spouse, appears to still be struggling with the transition, as revealed in a recent interview. “Why would you want to be married and have kids if this is what you wanted since you were a little boy?” she asked, adding that she feels there was never a gender identity issue revealed during the span of her relationship with the former Olympian.
Caitlyn, however, denies her ex-wife’s assertions. She says that Kris was fully aware of any side effects and that Kris had even said that Caitlyn could dress as a woman provided she was alone and away from the house. It is this sort of apparent denial and lack of support that can seriously hinder any acceptance that a transgendered individual would need, particularly from such a significant person as Caitlyn’s former life partner.
It can only be hoped that the rest of Caitlyn’s family – particularly Kim Kardashian West, who has been quite openly supportive of the transition – will continue to be as supportive as they apparently have been to date. Transition is not just about the individual; very frequently, the family and other loved ones also have to adjust to the change that their family member is going through, and the Kardashian-Jenner clan is no different. In fact, the famous family might find it particularly daunting since they are under such scrutiny on a regular basis.
Admittedly, the scrutiny that this family exposes itself to regularly is their choice, but it is important to note that Caitlyn Jenner has used the glare of the camera’s lens to great effect in this instance. As Caitlyn continues to experience her transition – for the experience does not end with the physical transformation – she is very definitely helping shed light on a situation that is often poorly understood. Caitlyn is sure to become a role model for transgendered individuals in society looking for that person who is trying to reconcile their physical appearance with their true selves.
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)