breast forms

Hatin’ On Caitlyn

| Jun 8, 2015
Spread the love

© 2015 by Dallas Denny
Source: Denny, Dallas. (2015, 5 June). Hatin’ on Caitlyn. Chrysalis Quarterly, 2(1).

Over on FaceBook trans* people are trashing Caitlyn Jenner. Not everyone is, of course, but more than you might think, considering the positive way most of America is handling her transition. Just yesterday I saw her reviled by trans* people for, among other things, her fame, her wealth and its associated privilege, her whiteness, her television shows, her political affiliation, her relationship with her family, her late transition, her attractiveness, and her high femme presentation in Annie Leibovitz’ photo spread in Vanity Fair. Some of those seated most securely on the bandwagon deny they are hating on Caitlyn, but of course they are.

There’s legitimate concern that newly-out Caitlyn will pull a Zoey Tur (i.e. spout transphobic nonsense). I think that unlikely, but Caitlyn has a powerful media presence and she could potentially do a lot of damage. Many are offended by Caitlyn’s having been called a role model for the transgender community by Rachel Maddow and others. Many are offended because Caitlyn had the clout to land a two-hour-long interview on national television with Diane Sawyer and the cover of Vanity Fair. Some are offended because she has declared herself a Republican. Some resent her because she’s not CeCe McDonald or Sylvia Rivera or any of the other tens of thousands of us and they fear attention paid to her will reduce attention to the plight of trans* people of color and those of us in reduced financial circumstances (it does to some extent, but mostly most of us were already being ignored). Some say it’s unfortunate Caitlyn played pretty and passable in Vanity Fair and consider that antifeminist. But for many, I am sure, it’s just sour damn grapes.

Everybody’s arc through life is different, and in some ways Caitlyn’s is far removed from most of us. We are not Olympic Decathalon winners, we’ve not had our photo on Wheaties boxes, and we’ve not had a long-running reality show on television. We’re not famous. On the other hand, Caitlyn has lived and overcome the fear, shame, and self-doubt felt by most of us. Eventually, like many of us, she transcended all that and, in the face of a ravenous and opportunistic media, transitioned gender roles. Many of us with far less at risk never get that far.

So yes, Caitlyn Jenner is my hero in way all trans* people are my heroes. When you’re trans*, just getting up in the morning can be damn difficult. I empathize with her struggles and applaud her for getting so far. In that she’s no different from any of the rest of us. I applaud all of us, even the ones currently hating on Caitlyn.

Published with permission.

  • Yum

Spread the love

Tags: , , , ,

Category: All TGForum Posts

Dallas Denny

About the Author ()

Much of Dallas' work is available on her website. Dallas Denny is a writer, activist, and educator. She holds a M.A. and was licensed to practice psychology for many years. She retired her license after relocating to Georgia. Dallas founded and was for eight years Executive Director of the American Educational Gender Education Service. She started the Atlanta Gender Explorations support group in 1990. She was part of the group that started the Southern Comfort conference and did programming for the conference. She has long been involved with Fantasia Fair, where she was Director for six years. Dallas was editor of the journal "Chrysalis" from 1990-1998 and "Transgender Tapestry" from 2000-2006. She has three published three books and many book chapters and journal and magazine articles. Dallas holds a number of honors, including IFGE’s Trinity and Virginia Prince Lifetime Achievement Awards and Real Life Experience’s Transgender Pioneer Award.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. says:

    Thank you Dallas. The most terifying obstacles were in my own mind. To risk all to live authenticity is the risk of every transgender. From Jazz to Catlyn we go “all in” as the poker players say it. I say to Jazz, Catlyn or you Dallas, “I thrilled and proud you made it.”

  2. says:

    Thank you Dallas. Well said.

  3. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    I think we have told enough transition stories in the media, at least in the American media. Time to be seen and heard on all aspects of life, with ideas and contributions.

    The world needs to hear us talk about more than transgenderism.

  4. melissam melissam says:

    All of us have a unique journey. Criticizing how we come out, how we look, or how we handle it solves nothing. Caitlyn obviously has financial resources most of us do not. She doesn’t have to worry about continued employment. BUT, her journey has been, as it is for most of us, filled with pain, anxiety, longing, regret and finally, self acceptance….peace to everyone.

  5. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Dallas. From Christine Jorgensen to Laverne Cox. no one has had quite the impact that Caitlyn is having in providing positive visibility of our community. Billie Jean King said it well in an article just published ( I have no time for the naysayers in our community for what have they done to improve our image or reduce the many problems we have

breast forms