Well, the world has now seen the first three episodes of “I Am Cait,” and what an adventure it has already been in that short time!
Episode 1 consisted of an introduction to the woman we have only known for several months, and seen even less. This episode not only introduced her, it showed a bit of who Cait is, what she is going through – and most importantly – meeting her family as Cait. I won’t lie, to me it didn’t seem as if this was the first time any of them were JUST meeting Caitlyn. That said, if their reaction was actually genuine, it was beautiful to see how accepting her children and Kanye appear to be. Her mom, however, was the focal point, and rightly so. Cait’s mother explained that while she accepts Caitlyn, she still needs time to adjust; and this was noticeable by her use of male pronouns and the name of “Bruce. “ It was a nice touch that the episode illustrated that this transition is not only just for Cait, but also for her family. That level of acceptance is something many people know well, so it was nice to see it get representation – making the moment feel like the most honest and necessary part of the episode. This served as an introduction but still had, hanging over it, the simmering storm of things to come: Cait’s privilege.
The episode opens with Cait being made up professionally, and is soon joined by a professor from Barnard college, Jenny Boylan. As their conversation progresses, while Cait is being done up, the makeup boy assimilates Professor Boylan into his hair and makeup “Borg Cube.” As the episodes continues, we see the juxtaposition of Caitlyn’s life with these other trans-women. She then embarks on a road trip to San Francisco to begin to learn more about the community of which she’s just become a part. The goal, unbeknownst to Cait, is to enlighten her to the fact that she’s been lucky to transition the way she did, because her journey has been very far from the norm.
Now I agree, Cait has been oblivious to this. If you didn’t know, then re-watch how she was hitting golf balls into the woods for absolutely no reason in her multi- level tree house – where she relegates the cis people on the trip because um….cis? Anyway, my biggest issue with the episode had to do with people ragging on Cait for her privilege, despite the fact that Cait consistently asked what she could do to help. Yes, Caitlyn is a woman of privilege, but she also has made it known that she wants to help. This situation might be due to the fact that the editors wanted it to seem as if tension was present when it wasn’t. That said, when the episode ended with Cait going head to head with a group of women who hadn’t just been on a wine filled private bus with Cait for the last day and a half. Which leads us….
….right into last night’s episode! Caitlyn heard the horror stories that she never had to go through and right away she felt the impact. She took it in and, is most likely is still processing it. It was great to see how she formulated a plan to help. This is the point of this show. Caitlyn Jenner using the name she has made, the influence she has, and the lengths she can reach to tell the stories. Yes there was side drama with Cait’s BFF/assistant (that they resolved immediately), but this was a very happy conclusion to the start of the show, showing that even in a situation like this, you truly have to be going through it to understand. The episode ends on a positive note that truly gave us the feeling of something new for Caitlyn. A story of hope from the trans community that hopefully makes it easier for those out there terrified to say anything about who they are, maybe this show will give them hope.
If you are a trans person out there that needs to talk with someone, please visit the Trans Lifeline.
The show is really doing a great job of not only telling Cait’s views on the issue, but also giving many different trans perspectives a major outlet. I hope this continues as the show goes on. It’s a major community that deserves to be heard; and if more people hear those voices because 10 seasons of the “Kardashians” made it possible, then thank you Kardashians.
Next week will be more like my weekly recap columns. Hope you tune in.