Caitlyn Jenner has received major backlash from the trans community after her insensitive comments in Time magazine’s Person Of the Year section. Jenner became a public figure of the trans community early this year when she transitioned from a male to a female. This was major for the trans community because as Bruce Jenner, an Olympic athlete and gold medalist, Caitlyn broke the conventions of what a trans person looks like when they’re going through their transition. She also brought unprecedented visibility to the community.
Now over the past few months, Jenner has gone on record in saying some pretty unfortunate things about how she views herself as a trans woman and how she views the trans community. As the Inquisitr noted, Jenner said that she has to look a certain way to make people more comfortable with her for being trans.
“I think it’s much easier for a trans woman or a trans man who authentically kind of looks and plays the role. So what I call my presentation. I try to take that seriously. I think it puts people at ease. If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable. So the first thing I can do is try to present myself well. I want to dress well. I want to look good. ”
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) December 14, 2015
Not only did these comments represent heteronormative expectations that are stereotypical of the trans community, this kind of thought comes from a privileged place. Some trans people don’t have the money to hire stylists and deck themselves out in designer dresses to appease other people or “play” to their new gender.
Here’s just a few responses Caitlyn Jenner received after her controversial comments.
Caitlyn Jenner is a disgusting homophobic and can u believe it, transphobic (I KNO!!!) piece of trash
— kenna (@missmovingoff) December 11, 2015
Caitlyn Jenner speaking up on trans issues is a good thing, but not when her message is muddled by periodic transphobic dialogue. — Feminism Vibes (@feminismvibes) December 11, 2015
@Caitlyn_Jenner girl, I cannot defend you any further against transphobic comments when you yourself are part of the problem…
— cory. (@notCORYGREGORY) December 11, 2015
Now, after facing backlash due to her comments, Jenner expresses that she hasn’t gotten it right. In an op-ed for the social media site WhoSay, Jenner writes.
“Since I told the world my truth six months ago, I’ve tried to be a force for good. I’ve met and listened to many people in the transgender community, from trans women of color, to the parents of trans kids who’ve taken their own lives, to people working in the courts and legislatures and media to make the world a better, safer place for trans people.”
“I guess it’s true that there are some things that I have not gotten right. Sometimes this is because I’m still finding out about the issues. Sometimes this is because something that is true for me isn’t true for other people in our community. And sometimes I’ve said things that just come out the wrong way.”
— someecards (@someecards) December 12, 2015
Of her recent comments and the backlash she received, Caitlyn Jenner explains that she did initially feel hurt because she wanted people to give her a bit credit for having “a big heart” and because she doesn’t have “a mean bone” in her body. That said, Jenner reflected and has come to the conclusion that she has made mistakes.
In the end, Jenner writes the following.
“I need to make my real feelings more clear.”
Of the exact phrasing of her comments, Jenner explains.
“What I was trying to say is that our world really is still a binary one, and that people who look ‘visibly transgender’ sometimes can struggle for acceptance and may be treated poorly by others. And while this may be true, it’s also something that needs to change.”
What do you think about Caitlyn Jenner’s new comments in regards to her Time magazine interview?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]