Caitlyn Marie Jenner(born William Bruce Jenner; October 28, 1949) is an American television personality and retired Olympic gold medal–winning decathlete. Jenner was a college football player for the Graceland.
Jenner is a Christian, leans towards political conservatism and is a Republican. "I have gotten more flak for being a conservative Republican than I have for being trans," she has said. Although stopping short of an endorsement, Jenner said she liked Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, despite Cruz's negative views of trans people. On her reality show I Am Cait, Jenner said that although she does not support Donald Trump, she thinks he would be good for women's issues; she then stated she would never support Hillary Clinton. She ended up voting for Trump in the 2016 presidential elections.
In February 2017, President Trump rescinded federal requirements giving transgender students the right to choose the school restroom matching their gender identity. In response, Jenner tweeted "Well @realDonaldTrump, from one Republican to another, this is a disaster. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me."
In April 2017, Jenner said she was in favor of same-sex marriage.
In July 2017, Jenner announced that she was contemplating running in the 2018 race for the US Senate to represent California. Later in the month, she condemned Trump for issuing an order to reinstate a ban on transgender people from serving in the military. In her tweet, she wrote "What happened to your promise to fight for them?", juxtaposing it with Trump's tweet from June 2016 in which he promised to fight for the LGBT community.
In an October 2018 Washington Post opinion piece, she wrote that she was mistaken in her belief that Trump and his administration would support the LGBTQ community and vowed to learn from her error. "The reality is that the trans community is being relentlessly attacked by this president." Her reversal came after a Trump administration proposal to restrict the legal definition of a person's gender to that assigned at birth
Caitlyn Marie Jenner was born William Bruce Jenner on October 28, 1949, in Mount Kisco, New York, to Esther Ruth (née McGuire) and William Hugh Jenner. Her father was an arborist. She is of English, Scottish, Irish, Dutch, and Welsh descent. Her younger brother, Burt, was killed in a car accident in Canton, Connecticut on November 30, 1976, shortly after Jenner's success at the Olympic Games. As a young child, Jenner was diagnosed with dyslexia.
Jenner attended Sleepy Hollow High School in Sleepy Hollow, New York, for her freshman and sophomore years and Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut, for her junior and senior years, graduating in 1968. Jenner earned a football scholarship and attended Graceland College (now Graceland University) in Lamoni, Iowa, but was forced to stop playing football because of a knee injury. Recognizing Jenner's potential, Graceland track coach L. D. Weldonen encouraged Jenner to switch to the decathlon. In 1970, Jenner placed fifth while debuting in the decathlon at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Jenner graduated from Graceland College in 1973 with a degree in physical education.
In a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer in April 2015, Jenner came out as a trans woman, saying that she had dealt with gender dysphoria since her youth and that, "for all intents and purposes, I'm a woman." Jenner cross-dressed for many years and took hormone replacement therapy but stopped after her romance with Kris Kardashian became more serious, leading to marriage in 1991. Jenner recounts having permission to explore her gender identity on her own travels but not when they were coupled, and that not knowing the best way to talk about the many issues contributed to the deterioration of the 23-year-long marriage, which ended formally in 2015.
Jenner has undergone cosmetic surgery, and completed sex reassignment surgery in January 2017. She said she has never been sexually attracted to men, but always to women, and that, keeping in mind the difficulty people have understanding the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, she will identify as asexual for now.
In June 2015, Jenner debuted her new name and image, and began publicly using feminine pronoun self-descriptors. Jenner held a renaming ceremony in July 2015, adopting the name Caitlyn Marie Jenner. Prior to her 20/20 interview, a two-part special titled Keeping Up with the Kardashians: About Bruce was filmed with the family in which she answered questions, and prepared her children for the personal and public aspects of the transition. In the special, which aired in May 2015, the point was emphasized that there is no one right way to transition. Jenner made it a priority to ensure that all her children were independent first before focusing on her transition. In September 2015, her name was legally changed to Caitlyn Marie Jenner and gender to female.
Jenner's announcement that she is transgender came at an unprecedented time for trans visibility, including legislative initiatives. The 20/20 interview had 20.7 million viewers, making it television's "highest-ever rated newsmagazine telecast among adults 18–49 and adults 25–54". The Daily Beast wrote that Jenner's honesty, vulnerability, and fame may have caused "cheap jokes" about trans people to "seem mean to a mainstream audience on an unprecedented scale".Noting the shift in how comedians treated Jenner's transition, The Daily Beast saw the change as the same evolution that took place in acceptance of LGBT people as a whole when "comedians finally cross the critical threshold from mockery to creativity in their joke-telling".
Jenner's emerging gender identity was revealed in a Vanity Fair interview written by Buzz Bissinger. Annie Leibovitz photographed the cover, the magazine's first to feature an openly transgender woman, which was captioned "Call me Caitlyn". Using her Twitter handle, @Caitlyn_Jenner, she tweeted: "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me." Time magazine declared this tweet the tenth most re-tweeted tweet of 2015, based on re-tweets of tweets by verified users from January 1 to November 10 of that year. Jenner amassed over one million Twitter followers in four hours and three minutes, setting a new Guinness World Record and surpassing United States President Barack Obama, who, a month before, accomplished the same feat in four hours and fifty-two minutes. Four days later Jenner was up to 2.37 million followers, with another 1.5 million followers on Instagram.
However, Jenner was also mocked. Beginning in September 2015, she was depicted on the satirical American animated program South Park, which parodied her supporters' political correctness, as well as her driving record. The Jenner-related episodes were "Stunning and Brave", "Where My Country Gone?", "Sponsored Content", "Truth and Advertising" and "PC Principal Final Justice" from the show's 19th season.
In April 2016 during the Republican presidential primaries, Jenner became an exemplar for candidate Donald Trump's opposition to North Carolina's Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, with Trump saying that Jenner could use any restroom of her choosing at his Trump Tower property. Jenner soon posted a video showing that she had taken Trump up on his offer. She thanked Trump and assured Trump's adversary Ted Cruz that "nobody got molested".
In June 2016, Jenner was one of several celebrities depicted using synthetic nude "sleeping" bodies for the video of Kanye West's song "Famous". Later that month, an episode of Epic Rap Battles of History was released featuring Jenner, as Bruce (portrayed by Peter Shukoff) and then Caitlyn (portrayed by transgender rapper Jolie "NoShame" Drake), rap battling against The Hulk (portrayed by Lloyd Ahlquist).
In August 2015, Jenner won the Social Media Queen award at the Teen Choice Awards. In October 2015, Glamour magazine named her one of its 25 Glamour Women of the Year, calling her a "Trans Champion."In November 2015, Jenner was listed as one of Entertainment Weekly's 2015 Entertainers of the Year. In December 2015, she was named Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of 2015. Also in that month, she was listed on Time magazine's eight-person shortlist for the 2015 Person of the Year, and Bing released its list of the year's "Most Searched Celebrities", which Jenner was at the top of, and declared Jenner's Vanity Fair cover the second in a list of "top celeb moments of 2015." She was the second most searched for person on Google in 2015. In April 2016, she was listed in the Time100. In June 2016, Jenner became the first openly transgender person to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The cover and associated story marked the 40th anniversary of her winning the 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon.
Feminist author Germaine Greer called Glamour magazine's decision to award Jenner with a "Woman of the Year" award misogynistic, questioning whether a transgender woman could be better than "someone who is just born a woman." Jenner also received criticism from individuals such as actress Rose McGowan, for stating – in a BuzzFeed interview – that the hardest part about being a woman "is figuring out what to wear". McGowan argued: "We are more than deciding what to wear. We are more than the stereotypes foisted upon us by people like you. You're a woman now? Well fucking learn that we have had a VERY different experience than your life of male privilege." McGowan later stated that she was not transphobic, and added: "Disliking something a trans person has said is no different than disliking something a man has said or that a woman has said. Being trans doesn't make one immune from criticism."
Chris Mandle of The Independent stated: "Jenner has gone on to inspire countless men and women, but her comments, which were made after she was celebrated at Glamour magazine's Women Of The Year in New York were branded 'offensive and insulting'." He added: "People began tweeting the other, harder things women have to deal with, such as institutionalized oppression, abuse and sexual assault". James Smith, husband of Moira Smith, the only female New York Police Department officer to die on September 11, 2001, returned Moira's "Woman of the Year" award, given posthumously. Referring to Jenner as a man, he stated that he found Glamour giving Jenner the same award insulting to Moira's memory, and referred to the matter as a publicity stunt. Smith later said that, having supported transgender youth and Glamour's decision to honor transgender actress Laverne Cox in 2014, he did not object because Jenner is transgender; he objected to Jenner's "hardest part about being a woman" commentary; this proved to him that Jenner "is not truly a woman. I believe this comment and others he has made trivializes the transgender experience as I have witnessed it."
Conversely, Adrienne Tam of The Daily Telegraph argued that Jenner deserved the Glamour award, stating: "What McGowan failed to take into consideration was the jesting manner in which Jenner spoke." Tam said:
Tam considered McGowan's criticism to be over the top, and stated of James Smith's criticism, "The salient point here is one about courage. We easily recognize physical courage such as saving orphans from burning buildings, or ordinary people putting their lives in the line of fire. It is far harder to recognize mental courage." She added: "Without a doubt, the police officer who died in the September 11 attacks was courageous. But so is Jenner. It's a different kind of courage, but it is courage nonetheless."
Since coming out as a trans woman in 2015, Jenner has been called the most famous openly transgender woman in the world. She is also one of the most recognized LGBT people in the world and arguably the most famous LGBT athlete. Jenner acknowledged in her 20/20 interview that part of her reason for being so visible was to bring attention to gender dysphoria, violence against trans women, and other transgender issues. She also sought to promote more informed discussion of LGBT issues at a time when the trans community has unprecedented visibility. She signed with Creative Artists Agency's speakers department and will collaborate with the CAA Foundation on a philanthropic strategy focusing on LGBT issues. She made a private appearance at the Los Angeles LGBT Center in June 2015, where she spoke with at-risk trans youth.
Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award during the 2015 ESPY Awards in July 2015. ESPN executive producer Maura Mandt said Jenner was given the award because "she has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces." She is the third consecutive openly LGBT person to receive the award following footballer Michael Sam (2014) and anchorwoman Robin Roberts (2013).
In October, Jenner presented the Point Foundation's Horizon Award to television producers Rhys Ernst (of the show Transparent) and Zach Zyskowski (of the show Becoming Us). This was her second public speaking engagement after her gender transition.
In November, Jenner was listed as one of the nine runners-up for The Advocate's Person of the Year.That month she was also listed as one of the Out100 of 2015, with Out calling her the "Newsmaker of the Year." On International Human Rights Day, Jenner discussed transgender rights with Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. In 2016, Jenner was on the cover of The Advocate's February/March issue.
MAC Cosmetics collaborated with Jenner on a lipstick, called Finally Free, which was made available for purchase April 8, 2016, with MAC stating, "100% of the selling price goes to the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative, to further its work in support of transgender communities." Also in April 2016, Jenner was listed as No. 8 on Out magazine's Power 50 list.In May 2016, her interview with Diane Sawyer in 2015 won Outstanding TV Journalism – Newsmagazine at the GLAAD Media Awards.
In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Jenner and others told the stories of the people killed there.
In July 2016, Jenner spoke about coming out as transgender and Republican at a Republican National Convention "Big Tent Brunch" for the conservative group American Unity Fund.
Show and memoir
Main article: I Am Cait
Jenner's gender transition is the subject of I Am Cait, initially an eight-part TV documentary series, which premiered on E! in July 2015 to an audience of 2.7 million viewers. Jenner is an executive producer of the show. The show focuses on Jenner's transition and how it affects her relationships with her family and friends. The show also explores how Jenner adjusts to what she sees as her job as a role model for the transgender community. In October 2015, the show was renewed for a second season, which premiered on March 6, 2016. The show tied for Outstanding Reality Program at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2016.
Jenner's memoir, The Secrets of My Life, was published on April 25, 2017.