Caitlyn Jenner Apologizes for Making ‘Man in a Dress’ Comment About the Transgender Community
Caitlyn Jenner is sorry.
The Olympian has written a blog post to apologize for comments she recently made in a Time magazine interview, in which she said that a transgender woman who look a “man in a dress” will make people “uncomfortable.”
At the time, she said, “One thing that has always been important for me, and it may seem very self-absorbed or whatever, is first of all your presentation of who you are. I think it’s much easier for a trans woman or a trans man who authentically kind of looks and plays the role. So what I call my presentation. I try to take that seriously. I think it puts people at ease. If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable. So the first thing I can do is try to present myself well. I want to dress well. I want to look good.”
Now, the 66-year-old is changing her tune and penning an apology about the statement. Writing on her official site, Jenner says she “still has so much to learn” about using the right language and that she may have “said things that just come out the wrong way.”
“In the last week many people have pointed out some mistakes I’ve made. My first reaction was to feel hurt, to wish people would give me more credit for having a big heart, and to know I don’t have a mean bone in my body. But as I’ve thought about it, I guess I’ve come to understand that maybe I have made some mistakes, and I need to make my real feelings more clear,” she pens. “This week a lot of attention was brought to my comments in my Time interview, in which I said that my appearance is important to me, that I want people to be at ease when they encounter me, and that people are still uncomfortable if a trans person looks like ‘a man in a dress.'”
I think I caused a lot of hurt with this comment, and I’m truly sorry.
What I was trying to say is that our world really is still a binary one, and that people who look “visibly transgender” sometimes can struggle for acceptance and may be treated poorly by others. And while this may be true, it’s also something that needs to change.
Some people look gender non-conforming because they want to look that way – they don’t want to conform to society’s expectations. Those people have every right to look and present exactly as they choose. And then there are other people who don’t have the resources to access the medical procedures that would help them look the way they would like to look. Procedures, incidentally, that most health insurance plans refuse to cover. All of these people are my brothers and my sisters, and I am fighting alongside them, too.
My comments probably made it seem like all I care about is fashion, or makeup, or appearance. I can tell you I really enjoy all of that—it’s who I am. It’s the world I come from, and as a person in the media I have certain expectations for myself. But I am only one person. There are a lot of ways of being trans. And I want to help create a world in which people are able to express their gender in any way that is true and authentic for them. And most importantly – a world in which how a trans person is treated isn’t dependent on how they look.
Jenner concludes that “this is probably not the last time” she will make a mistake, but that she hopes to keep learning from the trans community and that she’ll “try to be more articulate in the future.”