Caitlyn Jenner has partnered with
WhoSay.com for a weekly series called The Real Me, in which
she explores issues and people in the LGBT community.
In her first post Monday, Jenner, 65,
discussed how her transgender friends' stories of survival inspired
“You wouldn't believe the types of
ordeals these people have had, how they have had to literally fight
for their own survival,” she
Jenner's first installment, The
Journey Begins, is below.
Hi everyone. Caitlyn here. First of
all, I want to thank you all for your support. The response to my new
journey has been overwhelmingly positive, and I'm eternally grateful
for all of your sweet messages, letters and gifts.
Up until now, I have totally isolated
myself from the transgender community, so I have a lot of catching up
to do. I feel such a responsibility to this courageous group to try
to get it right and tell all sides of the story. To me, that's always
the biggest question: am I doing it right?
A few weeks ago, I had dinner with some
of my new friends – a group of six trans women – and I went
around the table and asked each of them how long it had been since
their transitions. One said 20 years, another said 15 years ago...
seven years ago... three years ago... They came around to me and I
said, “Two weeks.”
Flash-forward a few weeks and I've
already learned so much about this community, the issues and the
people involved. It's been an eye-opening experience for me – and
it's mainly made me realize how fortunate I am.
I've heard every horror story there is
in the book. You wouldn't believe the types of ordeals these people
have had, how they have had to literally fight for their own
survival. Many trans teens are bullied and abused in high school.
It's just horrendous. Then there's the other dark side of this issue:
did you know that nearly 25% of the women in high-end sex business
are reportedly trans women?
Seeing how my new friends have overcome
their adversities is such an inspiration. They are so well-adjusted
and smart. I'll be sharing their stories here in the coming weeks and
I can't wait for you to get to know them. They are just like you and
This is the first in a series of
editorials where I will discuss the serious issues and lessons that I
am learning through this process. I have so much to discover and hope
that you'll join me on this adventure.
Let's live our true selves and make a
positive difference while doing it.