"Call Me Caitlyn"

Recently, a lot of positive press has been coming Caitlyn Jenner's way. Since she publicly transitioned from Bruce to Caitlyn, her family has notably stood beside her, and the media has shown an amazing level of openness. While a positive reaction to such a huge life change is usually a good thing, sometimes it can be a little bit problematic for a different reason than you'd expect.

On her tumblr, Laverne Cox, trans woman and activist for other trans folks, especially those of color, has touched on one of the largest problems in the conversation surrounding Caitlyn Jenner. People keep saying how "beautiful" she looks, often remarking on the surprise therein. While that is a compliment in its own way, Cox rightly notes that a lot of the perception of beauty is subjective and dependent on a standard of beauty defined by white, able-bodied, cisgendered, and economically privileged norms.

Some trans people would not be considered "beautiful" so easily simply because of their ethnicity. There are many trans and cisgendered people who do not feel so easily defined by one half of the gender binary. There are trans folks who feel as though they do not want to "pass" or look conventionally "beautiful". There are also those who cannot afford to make as thorough a transition as they would like due to lack of economic means to do so. They cannot be overlooked in what must be an ongoing conversation about acceptance of others in all of their wonderful variations.

Regardless, it is indeed wonderful that Caitlyn has seen such support during her transition. Her bravery in embracing who she truly is cannot be applauded enough. If you or someone you know is having trouble during any kind of life transition, please reach out for support from an affirming and non-judgemental practice such as ours.

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