My Journey Begins, by Caitlyn Jenner
"I've already learned so much about this community, the issues and the people involved," Jenner writes for WhoSay about her first few weeks living as her true self
Caitlyn Jenner says that before she came out as a transgender woman, she had "totally isolated" herself from the trans community. Meeting others like her, she says, has been "an eye-opening experience." Touched by their harrowing but often inspiring stories of survival, Jenner, 65, has partnered with WhoSay to release a weekly series of editorials called "The Real Me" that shine a light on the issues and people in the LGBT community. This is the first in that series.
Hi everyone. Caitlyn here. First of all, I want to thank you all for your support. The response to my new journey has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m eternally grateful for all of your sweet messages, letters and gifts.
Up until now, I have totally isolated myself from the transgender community, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I feel such a responsibility to this courageous group to try to get it right and tell all sides of the story. To me, that’s always the biggest question: Am I doing it right?
A few weeks ago, I had dinner with some of my new friends – a group of six trans women – and I went around the table and asked each of them how long it had been since their transitions. One said 20 years, the other one said 15 years ago … seven years ago … three years ago …. They came around to me and I said, “Two weeks.”
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Flash forward a few weeks, and I’ve already learned so much about this community, the issues and the people involved. It’s been an eye-opening experience for me – mainly realizing how fortunate I am.
I’ve heard every horror story there is in the book. You wouldn’t believe the types of ordeals these people have had, how they have had to literally fight for their own survival. Many trans teens are bullied and abused in high school. It’s just horrendous. Then there’s the other dark side of this issue – did you know that nearly 25 percent of the women in high-end sex business are reportedly trans women?
Seeing how my new friends have overcome their adversities is such an inspiration. They are so well-adjusted and smart. I’ll be sharing their stories here in the coming weeks, and I can’t wait for you to get to know them. They are just like you and me.
This is the first in a series of editorials where I will discuss the serious issues and lessons that I am learning through this process. I have so much to discover and hope that you’ll join me on this adventure.
Let’s live our true selves and make a positive difference while doing it.
For more information on the transgender movement, see a list of resources at CaitlynJenner.com.