Disclaimer before you read this post:
I don’t really know anything about transgenderism. This is simply my humble opinion about Caitlyn Jenner’s book “Caitlyn, The Secrets of My Life.” I found it extremely thought provoking, and a must for KUWTK fans.
First let me start with KUWTK! I’ve been a fan for years, because it’s such escapism. The show is so glamorous and it’s a lot of fun. Their beautiful houses and their fancy cars are out of this world for most of us. I love their fashion, I love their style, I can only dream of owning a walk-in wardrobe like they have! I love their vacation destinations, the hotels they stay in, the restaurants they visit. I love observing and analysing the family dynamics. The psychology behind so much of what they do and say fascinates me, and it has become compelling viewing. Plus I think the kids are so cute! Mason will break a few hearts when he’s older for sure!
So, in the episodes of KUWTK when Kris and the gals became upset by Caitlyn’s book I wanted to know why! So I bought the book to find out, almost wanting to engage in salacious celebrity gossip! I was so closed minded about it, ignorantly condemning Caitlyn for being selfish to have done this to her family, without really knowing anything about her or understanding her. Caitlyn’s book was a revelation to me and I never imagined I would feel so much compassion for her, trapped in a male body all her life, and not knowing what to do about that, or how to find the courage TO do anything about it. I narrow mindedly thought that Caitlyn was just an act, but I was wrong, because for Caitlyn it was Bruce that was the act, for her entire life. She was tortured and miserable, confused and scared, lost and alone. Caitlyn writes with enormous compassion, she is a really good person, with a deep and beautiful soul. She wrote about her father, Bill Jenner with such respect and admiration.
Bill had fought during the war and had been on the beach at the D-Day landing and had witnessed abject horror there and then tried his best to live with those images afterwards, never really understanding why his life had been spared that day when so many American men and boys had been brutally slaughtered right in front of him. He would detach into brooding silences for the rest of his life as he tried to process it all and come to terms with it. Bruce loved his father very much, and describes his joy and excitement so touchingly when he bought the exact same car his dad had once owned. Here he is aged 15 with his dad’s car:
Years later Caitlyn bought the exact same model:
Long before transitioning to become Caitlyn, Bruce lent his younger brother Burt a Porsche he had just picked up. Burt was young, just 18 years old and thrilled to take the Porsche out on the open road. He picked up a friend of his, a young girl of 16 and together they set out on that fatal drive which would kill them both outright.
Caitlyn is genuinely affectionate and thoughtful and like all of us has the same desire to be loved and accepted. I cannot pretend to fully understand the enormity of this subject because in all honesty it has not touched my own life, and I’m fortunate enough to be a woman who loves being a woman with all that that entails. It’s so hard for me to understand Caitlyn’s lifelong inner torment, and others like her. I felt that Caitlyn wrote this book with a lot of sensitivity and grace. It seems to me that she is not an unkind or selfish person, she is a sensitive, caring and emotional woman who finally found the courage to live her own truth. We all do things that hurt others, God knows I’ve been guilty of that! But if we have to live a lie and deny who we are, we end up hurting ourselves to a degree whereby we are not living at all, we’re dying because denial of the self kills the soul.
Kris Jenner co-produces KUWTK and in series 10 when Bruce talked to all of the children at the time of his transitioning it was very moving. It was all handled with great sensitivity and respect. Bruce talked with searing honesty about his lifelong struggle, it was obvious that he was really concerned about hurting his children and hurting Kris. When he went to talk to Kris, and they sat in her kitchen, it was very emotional. The way he’d written things down on that yellow piece of paper so as not to forget anything he needed to tell her made me so sad. He was so gentle when he spoke, he owned so much, and was so gracious. It was also very apparent that when he spoke about Caitlyn he was happy. He became radiant and a tension left his face, it was remarkable actually, the change in him, because he was speaking his truth.
The more I’ve watched KUWTK, the more I’ve come to observe that his gentleness and good grace is something that the girls have inherited in different ways, and it has had a very positive effect on them all. I also think he may be the most affectionate and demonstrative person in the show as well, you can’t help but like him, there’s a kind of innocence about him which is so endearing.
The upset for Kris was that Caitlyn had written in her book that Kris had controlled all the purse strings in the marriage and also within the family as a whole, but as ‘Momager’ (her own word meaning Mom and Manager) to her children who were maybe naïve and vulnerable as adolescents this may have been the most protective thing she could have done for them. As far as Bruce was concerned when they were married, maybe she fell into the role of managing him too. I don’t think it was malicious, just protective of the family business, and her way of feeling secure perhaps. Kris may also have been hurt when Caitlyn wrote about being more involved in family duties than her. At the end of the day though, all of the children have very supporting and loving parents in each of them.
Caitlyn deserves to be happy, the courage this has taken is really impressive, she is a truly beautiful person with so much to give, and so much to live for. She wrote a lot about the suffering of transgender people in her book, expressing real concern and a deep sadness for their treatment, even murder in some shocking cases, and she clearly wants to help people like her, those who have shared the same torment and suffering, and she is doing a pretty good job of that, raising awareness and helping to open people’s minds…my own included!
Caitlyn with her mother Esther beside him, and far left her sister, Pam at the ESPYs awards, in that Donatella Versace dress.
And here she is playing golf, a lifelong favourite game, always having been a sporting success, especially when as Bruce winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. Also pictured below with the medal.
I’m so glad I took the time to read this book, it feels so good when you open your mind to something you’ve given very little thought or consideration to before. I for one, wish Caitlyn Jenner all the happiness in the world.