Caitlyn Jenner has spoken publicly for the first time since the completion of her gender transition and asks the world to “call me Caitlyn.”
The 65-year-old was formerly known as Bruce Jenner, a highly successful American track and field athlete and current reality television personality.
“That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person,” Caitlyn reveals to Buzz Bissinger in an interview. “It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”
Jenner also reveals that the facial surgery had taken ten hours, twice the time she had thought it would take. Caitlyn had suffered a panic attack and had thought, “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?”
A counsellor from the Los Angeles Gender Centre came to visit Jenner’s home, reassuring her that the reactions were natural, a combination of pain medication and the stress of undergoing to the lengthy surgery.
“If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen,” Jenner told Bissinger.
Caitlyn’s children have always been supportive, and as part of the transition, Jenner had started hosting small gatherings labelled as “girls’ nights,” featuring wine and food. The nights were designed to allow Jenner to dress as she felt comfortable, and feel ‘natural’ in the presence of women.
“I was just nervous that I wouldn’t make her feel comfortable,” Cassandra tells Bissinger. “I was worried I wouldn’t say the right things or act the right way or seem relaxed.” But almost all of it melted away when she got there. “We talked more than we ever have. We could just be girls together.”
Caitlyn Jenner has also beaten a record held by the US President when she joined Twitter, gaining a million followers in just four hours, compared to President Obama’s 1 million in five hours (he’d joined the social networking site around two weeks ago).
This record was officially confirmed by Guinness World Records, who tweeted the record had been achieved in 4 hours and 3 minutes.
Barack certainly wasn’t holding grudges with Jenner, “It takes courage to share your story,” said Barack in reply to Jenner who’d said, “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”
Lady Gaga has thanked Jenner for “being a part of all of our lives and using your platform to change people’s minds.”
Kim Kardashian West (Jenner’s step-daughter) tweeted her own message of support: “How beautiful! Be happy, be proud, live life YOUR way!”
Jenner’s photos were taken by the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz.