The year is off to a powerful start for Caitlyn Jenner.
The transgender activist described her own learning process as a trans woman and the need for further, more widespread education about the cause in an inspiring speech at a special screening of the new film Tangerine in Los Angeles on Monday.
“After the last nine months that I have been ‘out,’ I have learned so much about this community,” said Jenner, 66. “I was totally isolated. I obviously couldn’t ‘out’ myself for so many years, and then I got to a point in my life where I really felt like I really had to live my life authentically, and as who I was, and maybe by doing that I could make a difference, but this is a process of education.”
“We have a lot of momentum in the trans community, but we have to keep that momentum going,” she continued. “We have to bring this in front of the public.”
Jenner, who kept her attire simple in black pants and a matching lace top, praised the film for highlighting the obstacles faced by transgender women of color and giving a real depiction of their struggles.
She praised the performance of actress Mya Taylor, who pays a trans sex worker in the movie.
“These are real big issues in our community – jobs, health care, all of these issues – and it’s [through] something like this that you really get to see what’s going on, and we need to do a lot of work,” she said. “We need a lot of acceptance, and stories like this are nothing but good for the entire community.”
“It really humanizes the experience, and so often when we humanize an experience like this in our community, really the only time that we hear about this is in statistics and headlines,” she added. “We have a lot of work to do.”