That Piece About What Caitlyn Jenner Is Really After

That Piece About What Caitlyn Jenner Is Really After

Written by Rebecca Juro and originally published on advocate.com

After losing interest in I Am Cait midway through the first season, I believed I was done with the whole Caitlyn Jenner media circus. I think it was watching her hit golf balls off the side of that mountain that finally inspired me to wonder if I didn’t have better things to do with my time. I felt no regret, no sense of loss. In my opinion, life’s just too short to waste even one more hour of it on someone like her.

The truth is that Caitlyn Jenner bores me even as she annoys me. I’ve known people like her my whole life. In fact, I used to be a lot like her. When I was in my late teens and early 20s, about 10 years or so after Jenner had won gold at the Olympics and graced America’s Wheaties boxes, I was a punk. I wore black leather, listened to the Ramones and the Clash, and adopted the politics and social outlook of the punk movement — the good and the bad.

On the one hand, while my politics could probably be described as left-wing, it was only because it was the politics of the bands I listened to. I really had no set political worldview of my own. Few, if any, people of color were to be found in the clubs or at the shows I frequented, and the same was true of openly gay or trans people. There was no real hate, no true animosity there, at least for me anyway. It was simply the way things were.

I was into punk for the music and the emotional release valve it provided me. The actual politics of the punk movement were secondary for me, and I rarely thought about them at all. I didn’t really care that there might be more, something of value beneath the surface of the world of anger, drugs, and loud music I lived in then. I was getting what I wanted and needed from punk, and I wasn’t particularly inclined to dig any deeper.

It’s this kind of immature perspective I see in Caitlyn Jenner today. She’s getting what she feels she wants and needs out of life, and she isn’t especially inclined to seek anything more. She has all the money and all the attention she could possibly want or need, and her worldview doesn’t extend beyond that which affects her directly. It’s like she’s on permanent spring break.

For me, it wasn’t money; it was the drugs. Getting by on next to nothing was part of the punk aesthetic, and the drugs we did were cheap and strong. Like the music, the drugs enabled me to feel what I wanted to and put other concerns, especially those I didn’t want or wasn’t ready to deal with, out of my mind.

Toward the end of my time as a punk and a drug addict, I was making good money. I had pretty much everything I wanted, more than enough money to pay the rent, feed myself, and buy all the drugs I could possibly want. To say I was self-centered would be an understatement.

The drug I believe Caitlyn Jenner is addicted to isn’t smoked, snorted, injected, or drunk. It’s the notoriety, the attention. She has succeeded Kim to become the uber-Kardashian, and she obviously loves it, revels in it. That’s her drug, and just about everything she does is focused on getting her more of it.

If there’s anything I remember well from my own days as an addict, it’s that when you’re addicted to anything, no matter what it is, it becomes what your life is about. Nothing else and no one else matters.

Some have argued that Jenner is still new to being trans and new to this level of attention, and so she hasn’t found her balance yet. The problem for Jenner and for all of us is that unlike with most actual drug addicts, her addiction is playing out in public, in the media. Indeed, it’s that very media attention which is her addiction.

It’s because of the attention Jenner seeks and enjoys so much that she has the potential to seriously harm the cultural and political interests of an unjustly harshly persecuted minority.

Caitlyn Jenner wants attention, and she doesn’t especially care who’s harmed as a result. That much is clear just about every time she opens her mouth. For trans people, particularly in an election year when anti-trans sentiment is at an all-time high, this is a problem for the community, and a big one.

Some time ago, transitioned helicopter pilot and news reporter Zoey Tur was the trans media darling of the moment. She spewed a plethora of misinformation about trans people in the media and publicly attacked some of her fellow trans journalists, including myself. While the actual content was different, the problem was much the same: Tur obviously loved the attention as much as Jenner does and would say whatever she had to in order to gain more of it.

The massive blowback in the media to Jenner’s comments on I Am Cait about Republican support for trans rights can be attributed to the same cause that precipitated the fall from grace of Tur — she finally went too far, clearly exceeding the point where anyone could argue she was still credible.

That’s the precipice upon which Caitlyn Jenner stands right now. She can grow up and start presenting herself as a competent trans woman who lives in the real world, or she can continue to show the world that she is neither. It’ll be interesting to see what she does next.

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15 Comments

  1. Colossus
    March 15, 06:24 Reply

    Oh damn, that was brutal.
    I don’t particularly care for cait or her politics so I’ll just sit this one out.

  2. Candy Man
    March 15, 06:28 Reply

    She obviously can’t see past her nose. Her fans can only hope she wakes soon.

  3. Ruby
    March 15, 06:43 Reply

    Eish!!!!!
    Caitlin needs a serious intervention… Everytime she opens her mouth, something idiotic jumps out!
    Aunty give it a rest already!!!!!!
    Haba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. papasmurf262
    March 15, 07:26 Reply

    Caitlyn needs to realise that like it or not, she’s the face and voice of trans people everywhere, and being the face and voice of that community is not alway fun and games!
    As her friends Candis and Jenny said… Its not all rainbows and unicorns.
    Life can be a bed of roses darling..but never forget that roses have thorns too.

  5. Dennis Macaulay
    March 15, 07:31 Reply

    I was very disappointed to hear her views on politics, but a lot could be misread from this article and from the discourse I see online daily.

    The general consensus is that the former Bruce went through all the transitioning thing just for the fame and fortune and to become the uber kardashian, a point I think is just not fair.

    Caitlyn is a human, a flawed human and she will not always get it right. When she is wrong, she is wrong let us separate the issues. Let us call her out when she is wrong rather than question the motives behind her identity. Case in point? Stacey dash!

    And please if the new identity brings opportunities for her, why should she get criticized for taking them?

  6. Mandy
    March 15, 07:42 Reply

    I believe there’s still very much a bit of Bruce in Caitlyn. I mean, you may change your appearance, but you had male philosophies before you transformed. And those aren’t easy to scrub off.

  7. Delle
    March 15, 08:14 Reply

    This just echoed my thoughts. My roomie has always maintained his stand on all this Caityln’s thing being a publicity stunt. You’re trans and everything you say, do screams Bruce, Male! Why? What’s the point transforming when it’s just your physical that’s changed? If you want to be trans, speak for them and not yourself. When I knew this woman was cray cray was when she declared wanting to vote for Ted Cruz…really?

    OAN
    From my observation on the theme picture, Caitlyn’s really wrinkled. If you wanna displace Kim, ask for beauty tips from her too na, I’m sure there are some anti-wrinkling creams. #okbye!

    • Pink Panther
      March 15, 08:29 Reply

      She’s a sixty-something year old woman, Delle. Wrinkles are allowed. Don’t be catty.

      • Marc Francis of Chelsea
        March 15, 09:03 Reply

        Wrinkles thing is really the silliest comment I’ve read here. Let’s see you at 40 not even 65.

        I don’t really get why Caitlyn is supposed to suddenly become trans Jesus in less than a year. She’s just accepted herself enough to transition and all of a sudden that makes her Miss Trans USA. The media circus does not translate to that so give her a break,

  8. Khaleesi
    March 15, 08:30 Reply

    ***reties wrappa carefully over chest and goes back to facial scrubs*** i honestly don’t really understand the trans world, i need to seriously research and inform myself about it, until then, I’ll just jump and pass … ***waves

    • Pink Panther
      March 15, 09:16 Reply

      Khaleesi, you honestly need to stop saying this. Every time I see this your ‘I don’t know the trans world’ comment, I have to restrain myself from making a nasty retort. It’s become repetitive and old. You keep saying it every time a trans issue comes up here. Get educated already and stop celebrating your lack of knowledge every time. Either that or don’t express an opinion at all.

      • Khaleesi
        March 15, 13:16 Reply

        Ahn ahn! Madam Pinky, you see me for dream? Ehn drop your nasty retort already nau, it won’t be the 1st ***talk to the hand***

  9. Chizzie
    March 15, 08:32 Reply

    I don’t think Caitlyn Jenner is doing this for the attention, I don’t see her as attention seeking. She might look some what like a woman but she still thinks like a man. You can replicate a woman’s body these days, but no one can capture the true essence of a woman, and vice versa for men.

    And thats the thing with trans ppl. They don’t ever completely pull it off. There’s always something that gives them away. In Caitlyns case it’s her chauvinistic way of thinking

    Caitlyn needs to realise that her opinions aren’t relevant to a large extent especially on relevant issues. We don’t care for what she thinks, she isn’t all that important, fine she’s gotten her boobs and gets to wear girls dresses but that doesn’t make a any bit as relevant as she is when she was Bruce.

    She needs to go to a quiet place and remain there

  10. Marc Francis of Chelsea
    March 15, 08:57 Reply

    Oh boohoo. Caitlyn is not the embodiment of E V E R Y single facet of being a trans person. Get over yourself abeg. This article reeks of bitterness. Are you angry people are intrigued by her and not you? Are you angry she didn’t transition at 65 and become the activist you crave? Well boo! Go and become that person and stop crying about Caitlyn and her “notoriety.” I don’t even watch I am Cait but from what I’ve seen, she’s reached out to other trans people slowly but surely. Give her a break. The media circus is because of her former status not because she’s been showing her undies at 10Oak. Her political views are changing but I think it would been incredibly disingenuous to just flip flop over to a liberal after being a conservative for so many years. Give her time and stop scoring her low on your report card because she has not changed trans rights in the less than a year since she transitioned.

    • Delle
      March 15, 14:19 Reply

      Hmm…there’s no touching Caitlyn where you are o. This love is real.

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