Hi again. It’s Caitlyn. Wow — what a week. Your outpouring after my note last week was incredible. (In fact, so many of you sent me questions and comments that my site crashed!) Even though I can’t get back to each and every one of you, I want you to know that I’m reading your kind words and that they mean the world to me. Here are just a few to get us started.
Kelli R.: Was there an inciting moment or event that made you decide to share Caitlyn with the world? What gave you the courage after all that time? Was there a “tipping point”? Thanks for caring about my curiosity and letting me ask questions!
I firmly believe that there are intensity levels of being trans. For example, a boy at a young age — four or five-years-old — might refuse to wear guy clothes and will only wear dresses. Not as a one-time thing, or as just dress-up play, but insistently, every day saying, “I’m a girl.” They can’t — and won’t — hide their true identity, even at that young age. Then there are others, like me, who can (kind of) live with it for a long time, even though it’s very uncomfortable.
I had all of the issues, but I was growing up in a very different time and I had no information. Meanwhile, I had all of my diversions — sports…this…that…married…family — but after 65 years, here I was right back with the same problems that I had when I was 10 years old and I had to finally do something about that.
Kim: I’m like many people in America…I’ve watched you on TV for years and have been familiar with you and your Olympic history since I was little. I’m so proud of you for standing up and living your reality, even after all these years and the immense pressure you must feel being in the public eye like you are. My question is relatively simple — what has been your favorite part this far of becoming Caitlyn?
Just being able to be myself. Recently I went on a trip with some of my new friends and I had such a wonderful time. I packed for the first time — as just Caitlyn, nobody else — which is the first time I’ve ever done that. I was gone for five days and had such a fantastic experience with all of these girls who have all been through the same thing. We had so many stories to tell. We had so many things that we were all dealing with. It was just truly a liberating experience. I knew then that I could never go back.
Lisa C.: What has surprised you the most in regards to how people are accepting this transition? What has been the biggest disappointment?
As I mentioned before, it’s been both eye opening and difficult to see firsthand what so many members of the trans community have had to go through just to be themselves. I hope to help raise awareness of these hardships so that it becomes a less painful process going forward.
That said, the future looks bright. I knew that my transition would get some response, but I certainly never expected all of this. It’s honestly been incredibly positive. I’ve met so many accepting people, including many through the “Ask Me Anything” section on my site.
Before I sign off for the day, I want to share just one of the many notes that I’ve received that has a smart, positive outlook.
Dawn R.: I’m a transgender woman. I was touched by your question “Am I doing it right?” I felt an overwhelming need to respond.
The best thing you can do for the rest of the trans community is to *be* Caitlin. Be who you really are. Be unashamed, honest, and brave, as you have been thus far. Be Caitlin. You’re doing a wonderful job so far, and I have every confidence you will continue to be so in the future. Trust yourself. Hold your head high, and be amazing.
What a powerful message for all walks of life. Let us all trust ourselves, hold our heads up high, and be amazing.
Until next week…
For more information on the transgender movement, see a list of resources at CaitlynJenner.com.