Caitlyn Jenner Makes It Official–Name And Gender Change Granted By Judge
It’s hard not to notice how much Caitlyn Jenner’s year has been marked by change. Caitlyn began the year as Bruce, the newly single patriarch of the Kardashian-Jenner family. After his divorce from long-time wife Kris Jenner, rumors swirled that Bruce had secretly begun the transition from male to female. When still known as Bruce, Jenner’s longer hair, softer features, and occasional experimentation with makeup seemed to confirm what wasn’t being said officially at the time: Bruce Jenner no longer wanted to live as a man.
Bruce Jenner went public with the transition in a big way, with a Diane Sawyer interview and a cover spread on Vanity Fair. Before the interviews, Jenner insisted that media outlets continue to use his birth name and the male pronoun. Afterward, Bruce became Caitlyn and requested that feminine pronouns be used.
Caitlyn continued her debut as a woman with the reality series I am Cait. The tone of I am Cait was noticeably different from the Kardashian-Jenner family flagship reality series, Keeping up with the Kardashians, though several family members appeared on Caitlyn’s show. The media have largely deferred to Caitlyn Jenner’s wishes on the subject of her preferred name and gender pronouns, but legally Caitlyn Jenner remains Bruce Jenner. That’s about to change.
Celebrity news site TMZ reports that Caitlyn Jenner petitioned a judge to legally change her name to Caitlyn and legally change her gender to female. Caitlyn was not present, but her attorneys were granted the name and gender change by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. Bruce Jenner is now officially Caitlyn Marie Jenner.
But, everything in Caitlyn Jenner’s life hasn’t gone as smoothly as she may have hoped.
While her family has publicly voiced support for Caitlyn’s transition, step-daughters Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian took issue with Caitlyn’s overt attempted to distance herself from the Kardashian name and brand. One episode of I am Cait featured both sisters meeting separately with Caitlyn.
“You look amazing. It’s your time,” Kim said in her meeting with Caitlyn. “But you don’t have to bash us on your way up.”
In its new season, South Park took shots at Caitlyn Jenner. In the premiere episode, “Stunning and Brave”, an overzealous principal named PC Principal forces several characters to call Caitlyn Jenner brave and say that she looks stunning. Each character resists, while Kyle goes so far as to say that he thinks Jenner is “probably a terrible person.”
I am Cait has proved an issue, as well. While critically acclaimed, I am Cait has struggled to find an audience. Forbes reports that viewership of I am Cait fell from 2.7 million live plus same day viewers in the premiere episode to 1.19 live plus same day viewers for the third episode. E!, the network that has aired all of the Kardashian-Jenner family spin off reality series including I am Cait, showed some faith in the show when it was renewed for a second season, but how far can the ratings fall before I am Cait and Caitlyn are left behind?
Public support for Jenner hasn’t always been easy to come by, either. The second episode of the new season of South Park, “Where My Country Gone?” was no kinder to the 65-year-old former athlete. Kyle receives an award from President Obama for calling Caitlyn Jenner his hero, and on the ride back to South Park, from Caitlyn Jenner herself. But, as Kyle and Jenner pull away from the White House, Caitlyn strikes and runs over a pedestrian, killing them. The gory scenes are a reference to a car accident caused by Jenner earlier this year, in which 69-year-old Kim Howe was killed. So far, no charges have been filed against Jenner.
For Caitlyn Jenner, it may turn out that becoming Cait was the easiest part of her battles. Now comes the struggle to stay relevant.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]