Transgender Activists React to Caitlyn Jenner’s Debut

Caitlyn Jenner’s very public debut on the cover of Vanity Fair yesterday made #CallMeCaitlyn a trending hashtag on social media and skyrocketed the Olympic athlete, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, to a new record: fastest Twitter account to reach 1 million followers.

Did Jenner make herself vulnerable with her magazine cover and earlier interview with Diane Sawyer? Yes. But she did so from within the comforts of a multi-million dollar Malibu home when transgender women of color, by contrast, face homelessness at much higher rates than their white cis counterparts. And Jenner also was able to express her true self with access to the best doctors for her gender-affirming surgeries, when other transgender women don’t have the resources to pass.

Though Jenner’s bravery should never be understated, transgender activists like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox are reminding people that not everyone gets the #CallMeCaitlyn treatment. There are countless unnamed transgender women who will never have their portraits taken by Annie Leibovitz and will never make their transitions from the heights of race and class privilege Jenner enjoys.

So do call her Caitlyn, but also call out transmisogyny, transmisogynoir and the many oppressive hurdles trans women face in their choice to be themselves.

We captured the most insightful reactions from trans advocates.




Associate editor of Ms. magazine