Caitlyn Jenner says she considered suicide before transition

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Caitlyn Jenner ready to spotlight transgender struggle in ‘I Am Cait’.

The eight-episode unscripted series chronicles Jenner’s attempt to find acceptance among her extended family and friends and to live authentically in the world as a woman. “I’m telling my story,” Jenner says here. “People don’t understand looking into the mirror and nothing seems right.

Los Angeles – As Caitlyn Jenner plays tennis with her sister, the 65-year-old mocks her own athletic prowess with the quip “Bruce was a better tennis player than Caitlyn”.One thing many feared with I Am Cait—the eight-episode reality series following Caitlyn Jenner as she begins to live life as a transgender female—is that it would be exploitative, either of Jenner herself or the trans community at large.

It’s a moment of comic relief in an otherwise emotional first episode of I Am Cait, an eight-part docuseries premiering on Sunday on E! that pulls back the curtain on the new life of Caitlyn Jenner, the most high-profile transgender American, an Olympic champion formerly known as Bruce. Airing on E!, made by the producers of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and focusing on a story that, not so long ago, was the subject of constant tabloid snickering, it could easily seem crass or disrespectful.

There are many hair and make-up sessions, and time in the closet where Jenner and famous stepdaughter Kim Kardashian (appearing with rapper husband Kanye West) peruse dresses sent over by designers Tom Ford and Diane Von Furstenberg. But before the fussing, and in the opening scene, Jenner is stripped of make-up and sleepless at 4.30am as she worries about helping transgender youth who are thinking of killing themselves. It begins in the middle of the night, at 4:32 a.m., with a makeup-less Jenner unleashing the thoughts keeping her from sleep, about trans youth dying, about trans youth being murdered, about whether her platform, her image, her approach can help them. “I hope I get it right,” she says.

Search Twitter for Jenner and one of the words that pops up most often is “disgusting” — with about half blasting Jenner, the other half blasting her critics. Jenner is keenly aware that she has made herself the public face of a movement for acceptance and equality, and she is willing to look like a wreck, to be a wreck, over these issues. She and the mother talk about how to help transgender children and the show wraps with a suicide hotline number. “At times the tone can be stiff and cautious, like a public-service announcement,” wrote Time.com critic James Poniewozik. “But it’s a service nonetheless, lending celebrity’s un-turnoffable megaphone to the voiceless, especially kids.” Esther Jenner pays her daughter the ultimate compliment, saying she didn’t think she could be prouder than when Bruce stood on the Olympic podium but is more so now for the courage Caitlyn has shown. Amazon’s “Transparent,” CBS’ “The Bold & the Beautiful,” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” with trans star Laverne Cox, feature transgender women in front-burner stories.

The Wire isn’t TV, it’s Aeschylus.) But watching Caitlyn Jenner’s story unfold over these past months, I kept wondering: Where is Shakespeare when you need him? Jenner hopes the series will change the way society views transgender people, but her journey runs the risk of trivializing the struggles one faces changing gender. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. At the close of her ESPY speech last week, Jenner said, “For the people out there wondering what this is all about — whether it’s about courage or controversy or publicity — well, I’ll tell you what it’s all about. They have grappled with the pedestrian (carpet stains, spiders, periods, Christmas cards) as well as pregnancy, heartbreak, drug addiction, and divorce, only to arrive, here, at a case of mistaken identity. (What’s Twelfth Night but a transgender comedy?) As Jenner, still Bruce at the time, said in her interview with Diane Sawyer, “The one real story in the family was the one I was hiding.” No kidding.

That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing, and while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.” Things get a little tenser when Esther asks a doctor and transgender expert that Bruce has invited to the house what she makes of the Bible passage about men dressing in women’s clothing. When Esther and Caitlyn sit down to talk further, Esther grips her knuckles and says, repeatedly, “It’s not easy.” Neglecting her pronouns, she says, “I love Bruce, it will never change. Even when Caitlyn goes to visit the mother of Kyler Prescott, a transgender 14-year-old who killed himself in May, everyone remains even-keeled, telling a story of a kid who was not unloved or bullied, but misunderstood by adults. That is not an insult: It takes an outsize personality to thrive on reality TV, not just an outsize story, and transgender people are no more likely to have those than anyone else. (Kim, a reality TV natural, provides the episode’s only really lively moments, going through Caitlyn’s closet and demanding she throw a dress out.

Bruce, an icon of hunky, Olympian masculinity-turned-harried house husband, was constantly lapped by Kris and the girls at this sport, because—in retrospect, it seemed—she was always hiding her true self.

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