The Internet and the real world off the Internet is abuzz surrounding Vanity Fair’s July issue featuring the absolutely stunning Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner, the former Olympic gold-medalist and prisoner to the Kardashian Klan, lived the first 65 years of her life as a man and in the past few months has come out to the public as transgender. In a beautifully honest and intimate conversation with Diane Sawyer this past April, Jenner explained she had long suffered from gender dysphoria and “for all intents and purposes,identifies as a woman.” Aside from the planet’s hateful riff-raff, everyone was like, “Cool, we get it, we love it, now it’s time to watch Game of Thrones.”
Her daughters and step-daughters all stepped up and showed their infallible support with many, many selfies. Witnessing a celebrity and their family publicly celebrate and promote the difficult and beautiful trans experience felt like a huge progressive milestone. Everyone, including myself,was on board.
But here is where I’m having a hard time, and I hope I can come to some peace with this. In her Vanity Fair cover spread, shot by Annie Leibovitz, and interview, Jenner declared, “Call me Caitlyn.” Again, the Internet and detectable space surrounding the Internet mostly responded with a resounding and celebratory,“Hello, Caitlyn!” But I stood silent.
Caitlyn? Not, Kaitlyn? Or even KCaitlyn? I don’t understand.Where was the K in her name? Was I not seeing it? Did she forget to continue representing the Kardashian brand during the most difficult transition of her life? Call me nuts, but is she trying to take on a new identity, one not strictly in-line with the scripted reality show family she loves? I suppose that is Caitlyn’s prerogative. I just wish she could have snuck a K in there somewhere. Might I suggest, Cakelyn?
Let me be clear, I’m 100% behind her decision to live as her true self and think what she has done is incredible and courageous. But it isn’t kourageous, that’s for sure. It is as if this transition is about something bigger than the Kardashian brand, that it, perhaps, is about going forward and defining who she is, not who she’s been. And that might be the bravest thing of all: rejecting the legal contracts your ex-wife forced everyone in the family to sign.
Do I understand it? Hardly. Will I work to understand it and continue following the reality empire her family has sort of worked hard to make? Of course. What I do know is that shedding the K is the bravest thing Caitlyn Jenner has done, bar none. She’s broken free from the branded grasp of her former self and gone on to live her true life, which, in my opinion, is the greatest spin-off of all.