The world met Caitlyn Jenner for the first time in 2015 when she appeared on the cover of the Vanity Fair magazine wearing a white bustier and donning long brunette locks. Since then, Caitlyn (formerly known as Bruce Jenner) has been “studying up” on what it takes to be a woman, and reveals that her experience is obviously very different than other women.
During a recent interview with Advocate Magazine, Caitlyn admits that there is still a lot she has to learn about being a woman after spending sixty-plus years as a man. Caitlyn has always been in the spotlight, first as an Olympic athlete, and then as a reality star on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. However, in both of those scenarios, she was depicted as a masculine male figure. Now that she has come out and made her transition, she said people started thinking of her as the spokesperson for the transgender community, which she confesses she is not.
“The media has kind of labeled me as the spokesperson for the trans community,” Jenner told the magazine. “That is not the case. I am only a spokesperson for my own journey. After that, I know nothing. Am I learning a lot? Absolutely. I’m just trying to do my best, that’s all.”
Although Jenner just decided to reveal her true identity in 2015, she said she has felt like she was a woman her whole life, and even attempted to transition before. In the 1980s, Caitlyn started taking hormones and had cosmetic surgery done on her nose, but decided to stop the transition for fear of what others would think of her after knowing her for so long as such a masculine athlete and male role model.
— People magazine (@people) January 5, 2016
“I thought I would transition before I was 40,” she said. “That was kind of my goal. I got to 39, I couldn’t do it.”
Caitlyn was 65 years old when she finally made the decision to become a woman. She said she no longer cared what others would think, and simply worried about her children and not wanting to be an embarrassment to them. Surprisingly, all of her children have supported her fully, and have vowed to love her no matter what. Kim Kardashian, Caitlyn’s step-daughter, has even offered her advice on fashion, and living with the paparazzi, making sure she knows to never go out looking like a slob.
“All those things certainly go through your mind. But it’s natural,” she said. “You’re going from such a strong image — male, athletic, superstar, Wheaties-box iconic kind of stuff- and leaving that to go, quote, ‘to the weaker sex’- certainly, I don’t see it that way. And although I really felt like I was doing the right thing, and I’m so happy that the response has been good, I was afraid I would really lose something in my life. But my main concern was really only my kids. I don’t want to do anything to embarrass them.”
— E! Online (@eonline) January 5, 2016
Caitlyn Jenner has now been living as a woman for a little over six months, and admits she still doesn’t know everything there is to know, but she is quickly learning. Although she will never get to have the full female experience, she is trying to live her life as authentically as she can as a woman.
“There’s more to being a woman than hair and makeup. So recently, I’ve been trying to study up on it. My publicist’s assistant told me to read this book [How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran],” she said. “It’s actually very good and very funny. What I realized, when going through this book, is how my experience is so different than what a normal woman’s would be growing up — that’s obvious. The second chapter was about having your period. OK? I will never deal with that. So there is so much in life that I need to learn about who I am and be authentic with myself. But I never want to assume that this whole thing called womanhood, that I could ever experience all of that. I will be able to live authentically as female, but I’ve missed so much.”
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]