By: Erica Stonehill, @estonehill13
** I will be referring to her as ‘Bruce’ and using the pronoun ‘he’ when speaking of events prior to June 1st and the public reveal of Caitlyn.
If you’re at all up-to-date on current events or pop culture, this name should be familiar to you. A brief summary for those of you living under a rock: Bruce Jenner, 1976 U.S. Olympic decathlon gold medalist, and Kardashian reality star, revealed that he identifies as a woman during an interview with Diane Sawyer in April of 2015.
On Monday, Vanity Fair released the cover of their June issue: a physically transformed Jenner, with the headline “Call me Caitlyn.” The actual issue, complete with an entire photo spread and interview with Caitlyn, isn’t released until June 9, but this publication seems to be the perfect addition to a flawless transition.
Bruce had made it clear that he wanted to use his public platform to educate others and create awareness of the transgender community. That being said, following the Diane Sawyer interview, relevancy was an important factor in this release of information. There has been a series of TV specials, both focused on Bruce’s personal journey, as well as his family’s. This has allowed for a consistent, fluid conversation of not only what it means to be transgendered, but also what it means when a loved one identifies as transgendered.
Being in the public eye is often a double-edged sword. Bruce mostly had the opportunity to control the way his story was told, and he chose to keep it honest. During the special episodes we see his children work through different parts of his public transition, and while 90 percent of the time they are oozing with love and support, the remaining 10 percent is confusion and hardship. These tidbits of darkness are important because they keep this journey transparent to the public.
Along with Vanity Fair’s cover release on Monday, Caitlyn created her own official Twitter account and surpassed President Barack Obama as the fastest growing account, with over 1 million in four hours. While her story has just begun, Caitlyn is paving the way for not only transgender awareness, but acceptance across the entire LGBTQI community. Her emergence into the public is a delicate matter, but from a public relations perspective, it has been handled impeccably.