Justice

The Best Response to #CallMeCaitlyn is Here

June 4th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

When Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce) spoke to Diane Sawyer in an interview that aired several weeks ago, she expressed hope that her transition could help fellow trans individuals in some way.

One movement on Tumblr shows that Caitlyn, who made her world debut on the cover of Vanity Fair earlier this week, has already made an impact. Following Jenner's viral magazine portrait, trans people have come together on Tumblr to put their own faces on #MyVanityFairCover posts with anecdotes about themselves and trans experiences directly below their images:

Call Me Caitlyn

"I think '“MyVanityFairCover' is a really cool trend to showcase a variety of trans experiences beyond those of the very white, very wealthy, and very lucky. So, uh, here’s me!"

Call Me Caitlyn

"Hi, I’m Kat Smith. I’m a 35 year old printing coordinator who freelances as an illustrator and web designer. I’m MtF Trans, lesbian, and tomboyish as hell. My partner and I play video games, enjoy cartoons, and watch the rain. I’m cis-passing when I feel like it. Just started hormones, no surgery."

Call Me Caitlyn

"I’m a 28 year old pansexual, polyamorous, mixed race, Dutch trans woman. Most trans women don’t have millions of dollars and instant access to doctors, hormones and surgeries, like Caitlyn Jenner. And not all of us can or even want to adhere to western cisnormative beauty standards. This doesn’t make us any less beautiful, or any less valid as women. So here’s MY Vanity Fair cover."

This comes shortly after transgender, "Orange is the New Black" star Laverne Cox published a blog post responding to Jenner's transition and what it means for the trans community. In the entry, Cox acknowledges that she and Jenner cannot fully represent the community, as they're in extremely privileged positions compared to most trans people. Like Jenner, Cox was sexualized last year when she appeared on the cover of TIME, and some trans people argued that Cox was too pretty to represent the community at large.

"A year ago when my Time magazine cover came out I saw posts from many trans folks saying that I am 'drop dead gorgeous' and that that doesn’t represent most trans people (It was news to be that I am drop dead gorgeous but I’ll certainly take it)," Cox wrote. "But what I think they meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards...It is important to note that these standards are also [informed] by race, class and ability among other intersections. This is why we need diverse media [representations] of trans folks to multiply trans narratives in the media and depict our beautiful diversities."

After Cox's post went live, she retweeted a tweet thanking her for understanding the struggles "lesser privileged trans people" often face:

Hopefully the #MyVanityFairCover hashtag can continue to inspire this group as well.

For more on the challenges facing transgender Americans, check out our video on on the fight for gender-neutral bathrooms.

 
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