Caitlyn Jenner: Mixed Reactions Surface In Trans Community

Everyone is still abuzz with all things Caitlyn Jenner. After having made her debut into the world yesterday by gracing the cover of Vanity Fair, support and praise continues to poor in – and while the majority of responses have been overwhelmingly positive, it’s been revealed that not everyone within the transgender community shares their enthusiasm.

RELATED: The Best Reactions To Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair Debut

Speaking to The Guardian, Janetta Johnson – a black trans woman who works with TGI Justice, an advocacy group for transsexuals both in an out of prison – expressed her disappointment with the way Caitlyn has gone about her transition. “For her to come out as a trans woman and say ‘Oh, please keep calling me “he”’ – I think she may have set us back,” she said with reference to Jenner’s recent interview with Dianne Sawyer .

“Jenner’s a rich white bitch – she can pay for everything she needs. But I think she now needs to put some of that money back into the transgender community as she has taken a lot. All these years we have been abused and battered, yet she has used none of her power to help the community and bring about change.”

A rich white bitch or not, most people have rallied behind the former Bruce Jenner and are hailing her for “accelerating the acceptance of transgender people” and being a voice for women’s empowerment. As Orange is the New Black actor and transgender women Laverne Cox said, however, the struggle isn’t over.

While Cox welcomed the news of Caitlyn’s debut on tumblr, saying: “Yasss Gawd! Werk Caitlyn! Get it!” and noted that her “courage to move past denial into her truth so publicly” was beyond beautiful, she addressed some of the hurdles the community still faced.

“Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have,” she wrote. “It is those trans folks we must continue to lift up, get them access to healthcare, jobs, housing, safe streets, safe schools and homes for our young people.

“We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of colour who are poor and working class. I have hoped over the past few years that the incredible love I have received from the public can translate to the lives of all trans folks,” Cox continued.

“I hope, as I know Caitlyn does, that the love she is receiving can translate into changing hearts and minds about who all trans people are as well as shifting public policies to fully support the lives and well being of all of us. The struggle continues…”

What do you think?

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Bruce Jenner’s Transition Confession Generates Support

For decades the topic of transgender has often been avoided or overlooked. Instead, assumptions or judgements have been made based on a lack of knowledge and the transgender community have silently struggled just to be themselves. Recently, however, the community have been given a voice and society is finally starting to turn a corner.

In a tell-all interview with Dianne Sawyer on Friday, former Olympian and reality TV star Bruce Jenner confessed – after much speculation – that he was transitioning into a woman. “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman,” Jenner told the ABC’s Sawyer.

“People look at me differently. They see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul and everything that I do in life — it is part of me. That female side is part of me. That’s who I am,” he continued.

While the 65-year-old said he didn’t want to be a spokesperson for the community, he revealed: “What I’m doing is going to do some good. And we’re going to change the world. I really firmly believe that we’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing.”

His emotional interview – viewed by over 17 million people upon airing – has been met by the public with love and support and is a positive step towards equality. There is still a long way to go, however, with USA Today reporting that 90 per cent of transsexuals had experienced harassment in the work place, while a concerning 41 per cent of the community had admitted to attempting suicide.

“Everything they [the public] know about transgender people comes through the media. And until recently, frankly, the media was filled with stereotypes and misinformation about transgender people,” Nick Adams, the director of programs for transgender media for GLAAD, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group told USA Today.

“If you look around and see discrimination, poverty and violence, it’s very difficult to see a future for yourself as a happy, successful transgender person. We really need to change that,” he continued.

And change that we are. Recently, Laverne Cox, transgender star from Orange is the New Black, appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, while Vogue – for the first time everprofiled transgender model, Andreja Pejic. ”It’s good. We’re finally figuring out that gender and sexuality are more complicated,” she said.

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