Caitlyn Jenner Apologises To Trans Community

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Following statements made in an interview with Time Magazine, where she urged transgender women not to look like a ‘man in a dress’ as it makes people uncomfortable, Caitlyn Jenner has written an article for The Huffington Post in which she apologises for any offense she may have caused.

‘I think I caused a lot of hurt with this comment, and I’m truly sorry.’

‘What I was trying to say is that the 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.’

‘Some people look gender non-conforming because they want to look that way – they don’t want to conform to society’s expectations.  Those people have every right to look and present how they choose.  And then there are people who don’t have the resources to access the medical procedures that would help them look the way they would like to look.  Procedures, incidentally, that most health insurance plans refuse to cover.  All of these people are my brothers and sisters, and I am fighting alongside them too.’

‘My comments probably made it seem like all I care about is fashion, or makeup or appearance.  I can tell you I really enjoy all of that – it’s who I am.  It’s the world I come from, and as a person in the media I have certain expectations for myself.  But I am only one person.  There are lots of way of being trans.  And I want to help create a world in which people are able to express their gender in any way that is true and authentic to them.  And most importantly – a world in which how a trans person is treated isn’t dependant on how they look.’

‘I am guessing that this is probably not the last time I will say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way.  I promise to keep learning, and to try to be more articulate in the future.  We have a lot of hard work to do.  I am looking forward to doing it together.’

Caitlyn has acknowledged what she said was wrong, and has given a public statement of apology.  She has tried to explain what she says she meant in that one statement.

One thing that confuses me though, is if when she said ‘If you are out there and, to be honest with you, you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable’ was supposed to mean that whole long statement about the world being binary, and wanting to get rid of a world like that, I fail to see how those two are the same.

Yes, she has apologised, but I personally feel that the follow up statement is perhaps more an attempt to explain away saying something stupid, rather than clearing up some kind of misunderstanding about what she ‘was trying to say’.

Whether you believe what she is saying or not, whether you like her or respect her or not, please, please don’t engage in transphobic messages when talking about her.  One of the things I’ve seen in abundance over the last day is a lot of people, including trans people, saying that she looks like a man, that she sounds like a man.

It might feel good to strike back at her like that, to respond to her comments with an attack, and you have every right to express yourself that way, but please do it without making those kind of comments.  By turning around and countering her ‘man in a dress’ statement by saying that’s what she is, is only doing you a disservice.  Engage in criticising her by all means, but do it as the bigger person.  Do it without using transphobic language.

Amy.
xx

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Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer.

In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.

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2 Responses to Caitlyn Jenner Apologises To Trans Community

  1. Aja December 16, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Amy, if this comment doesn’t go through or is deleted, I’ll make sure it goes on my page.

    Don’t tell people how to feel. I will not be cerebral with my words because I’m gonna say EXACTLY how I feel- How dare Caitlyn come into OUR community, making fun of the same people she pretends to care about, & have the NERVE to question other trans women’s level of pass-ability when she has the resources to get SURGE (facial feminization & other feminizing surgeries) AND the fame from her PAST life. HYPOCRITE!
    It’s so EASY to sit on top of Mount Olympus & judge others- back when she was a famous white hunk of an athlete who fathered six children & living on residuals until she transitioned. With those perfectly edited 20/20 videos. Receiving accolades, awards & stars on reality shows to make a killing; Caitlyn is a piece of garbage & is NO better for being famous & wealthy.
    This is NO shade, but a mere fact. As a woman who has been in this life for more than 25 years, I know she needs to step her OWN realness game ALL THE WAY UP. I know some girls who can run CIRCLES around her in terms of realness & looking soft. I’m sick of all you so called “allies”- standing on the backs of trans people who have died & paved the way for them. You show up at our trans marches, conventions, & remembering our dead vigils knowing GODDAMNED WELL you don’t give a fu*k about us. Well, from here on out, we’re gonna return the favor.
    If you’re NOT here for our struggle, DON’T come for the celebrations. And caitlyn, (You don’t deserve capital letters. I would tell you to your face just as I’m typing this comment) you should NEVER critique trans women when you JUST started stepping out in women’s clothes your damn self.
    You can KEEP your sorry because I don’t see it.
    And I DON’T see you.

    P.S. Trans people have to stop caring about people who are quick to dig a grave & throw them in it. We can do bad by OURSELVES!

    Reading Is Fundamental

    • Amy Walker December 16, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I’m sorry, but I’m struggling to see where I tell people how to feel in my article. You may be thinking that my asking people not to engage in transphobic comments is me telling people how to feel, but it’s not, as it’s quite clearly a request, not telling people how they should feel.

      I personally am not happy with her comments and her ‘apology’, as is stated in my article. I believe that she is damaging the community and has a lot of learning to do, as anyone at such an early, stage of transition does.

      My asking people not to use potentially transphobic language comes from a place of concern that if our detractors see the trans community using it to attack our own it will only normalise and encourage harmful language. You do, of course, have every right to say whatever you want. I never said anyone didn’t, I simply asked them to express their views without stooping to the level of language she is using to harm our community.

      I’m sorry if you felt I was telling you how to feel, I meant no disrespect towards anyone.