I Am Not Caitlyn Jenner: Bruce Jenner is a crossdresser, not transgendered.

· Philosophy, Popular culture

I watched I Am Cait last night. A few things jumped out at me. One was that I remember watching The Biggest Loser several seasons ago, and someone noted that whenever one of the larger people on the show exercised, there was often an unflattering sound effect that accompanied their falling onto the floor. I think that reality shows exploit the marginalized in our society in order to improve ratings, and they do it in a subtle way that generates controversy, or at least that is the hope.


On I Am Cait, the camera often pans down to the hands of Bruce Jenner. I say Bruce Jenner, because he is a crossdresser, a transvestite, rather than someone who is transgendered. The way he interacts with Candis is as a straight male. He tries to fix her car; he buys her a new one. And he moves like a lumberjack. A transgendered woman can obviously be a lesbian, but no lesbian is comfortable describing herself as a man. And no transgendered woman is comfortable describing herself as a man. Jenner often refers to himself as a dad, in that he wants his daughters to be proud of their dad, etc. Any sincerely transgendered person, or one who is considering such a change, would cringe at someone referring to them as the wrong pronoun.


It is clear there’s an agenda here. Jenner has surrounded himself with a bunch of obnoxious harpies who instruct him on an episodic basis on how he is supposed to act, exist, be. Although they are obnoxious, what is really interesting is that a true transgendered person does not need to be taught how to be transgendered. We are who we are. We don’t need a manual. We know that when we talk about the ‘community,’ that we say ‘we,’ and not ‘they.’ If we use ‘they’ on a regular basis, and it’s not just a slip, then it’s clear we don’t identify with that community on a deep level. It’s clear that Jenner does not see himself as transgendered. So there’s obviously an agenda here on the part of the powers-that-be behind the scenes. Since he is confused, and there is a multi-million-dollar price tag attached, he has agreed to be the poster child for being transgendered in our new society.


I can see someone who finds cross dressing genuinely appealing, being willing to do this for E! Network. After all, he hasn’t had the surgery. And I doubt he ever will. Even if he does, it doesn’t mean he’s suddenly become transgendered, although obviously it would be a huge step in that direction. If he likes crossdressing, and doesn’t truly identify as a woman, he hasn’t really lost anything by doing what he’s done. He’s attracted to women, and is going to continue to date them (see Candis). He hasn’t had the surgery. He’s cross dressed. That’s it. And made a substantial amount of money. Maybe one of the reasons why ratings are so poor is that he is not being authentic. An authentic transgendered person has issues that have nothing to do with this show, which seems like a PSA more than an entertaining show.


One of the people on the show said, “There is no place in the world for us (trans people).” My thought on it is that we have to make our own place in the world. The only group that we should want to be in is the group of people who can control their emotions, be in tune with others’ emotions and being emotionally intelligent overall. There are so few people in this group that the world will always have a place for such people. Even if someone is controversial, they can overcome the group they are a part of, and become part of a new group: the one that will overcome the world. It doesn’t matter if the world has a place for you as long as God has a place for you.


There’s a reason I give Bruce Jenner such a hard time. It would be better if we didn’t, as a society, feel the overpowering need to label or categorize ourselves. But if we absolutely must, surely we should do it correctly. Bruce Jenner is not transgendered. He is a crossdresser. For some reason, he’s not comfortable with that fact. But just because there are sincere transgendered people in the world, doesn’t mean everyone who says they are, actually is. Just as not everyone who calls themselves black is black. Some white people say they are black because they have their own private agenda. Same with Bruce Jenner and his supposedly being transgendered.


Trans people have it hard enough in this world. If Bruce Jenner, who is obviously a straight male, announces that he is trans, people are rightly going to consider it a ridiculous idea. But don’t judge trans people by Bruce, because he is a straight man wearing the clothes of the opposite sex. There’s an enormous difference between a transvestite and a transsexual. And we need to educate ourselves, since reality TV is not the go-to source, or should not be, on such matters.


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  1. Claire

    Please tell me how you think you are more qualified than CAITLYN Jenner to describe and say if caitlyn Jenner is just a cross dresser as in “Bruce to CAITLYN” you do not know this person? The way she feels about herself? The way she defines herself? Therefor please stop trying to characterise! She is not a character in a theatre drama! Do not judge!

    • Monica Anne Grey

      You must know Caitlyn… I don’t but thought I would respond to one point.. “no MAN would do this”. The gender spectrum as we have all learned over the last many years is wide and diverse.. I think it has become almost passe’ to view an individual as man OR woman by genitals, or identity alone..,anyway as I said, I do not know Caitlyn personally so I refrain from commenting on her journey.. However, I am an interested in your comment, ” a man would never do this” .. I know an inter sexed “person” who had a few unique surgeries, who is fluid in both genders, this person identifies as both ‘male AND ‘female’ somehow…. Taylor is gender-fluid a person who identifies as both, not for excitement, but because he/she just is this person.. BTW, ‘Taylor’ is beautiful, loving and kind … And is also a handsome as hell bloke in a suit!

    • Cindy Stuart

      A adult person with male parts is a MAN. Cait has no intention of removing his male parts. He is a cross dresser. I have a transgendered friend. After a long process she finally became female on the outside but she was always a girl who liked boys. Cait likes girls (and “she” isn’t gay. “She” is a straight male. Perhaps her cross-dressing fetish is to get rich. I will consider her female when she loses those precious male parts and demonstrates that she is serious. One of my girlfriends dressed up like a boy, she’s small breasted, looked and acted like a boy. She could go into a male locker room and no one would know. But guess what? She’s still a girl!

      • Richard Mahony

        It’s not that simple, Cindy. A close friend of my wife grew up as a boy, then as a man, married a woman and fathered two children.

        In his early forties, however, he became increasingly ill. He saw numerous doctors. Eventually it was discovered that he had almost a full set of intact but only semi-functional female organs. Hence, his female organs released female hormones. His uterus was a vestige so he couldn’t have given birth, and his vulva had closed over when he was growing in his mother’s womb.

        He was advised by the specialists he consulted, that he had to choose to have his male organs or his female organs surgically excised. If not, then he would likely die.

        His medical specialists advised him that in his particular condition it would be more straightforward to excise his male organs and then to take female hormone therapy for the next few decades.

        He had been a very big, strong man, even bigger than Bruce Jenner was. I’m not sure that he was particularly happy, at first, about having to transition from being a man to being a woman. But he did. He used to laugh that he looked like a cross between Widow Twankey and a lumberjack. I thought, however, that after he had transitioned into a woman, within a year or so, she looked pretty good, considering how terribly ill she’d been when she had been a man, and the endless complicated medical procedures she had had to undergo.

    • Joe Hamel

      Bruce Jenner does not believe that gays should marry and he does not have any interest in dating men. If he believes he is a woman in a mans body why then doesn’t he have any interest in men?

      • Jaclyn Holland-Strauss

        A person can be both lesbian and transgender, but I stand by my belief that he is a crossdresser due to all of the evidence I’ve outlined in this article.

    • Lucy

      Dame Edna is another classic example…

  2. Michelle Hackler

    I am a transsexual grandma who is only three years older than Caitlyn is. I believe that Caitlyn is a transsexual woman who has had to make many changes in public because she is a public personality that most of us can make in private. Caitlyn has chosen at the moment to divide life into two parts one as Bruce and a second as Caitlyn. I chose to integrate my life into a whole and accept that I was a woman all my life, but lived as a butch female or dyke for the first 53 years. I am out as a transsexual grandma with a middle school son and I am often mistaken for being his grandmother and my partner as my daughter. Caitlyn played the role as a macho male for much of her live and now is living like a diva. She will quite possibly be the queen hen and type A female in society which is the same pretty much as she played the type A male. Many of us trans ladies when we transition in the later years of our lives never loose many of the male characteristics and behavioral patterns we were socialized into over the years. Feminists are not about to let men do much of anything in their lives. So why are you trying to make Caitlyn into a submissive female, which is really what you are doing. And by the way no real man is going to dress up like a woman and have breast implants and have their face shaped like a woman’s. Caitlyn is in transition and she does not need anyone to try and define her into being a cross dressing male. This is a problem all of us trans ladies face in that some people will never accept us as women we will always be men in drag to them. Are you one of these people? My partner is. I know I am a woman and I believe Caitlyn does to believe she is a woman and she will decide what feminine characteristics she will live with the rest of her life, just like I will. I don’t have her money, and have always put everything into my family so I haven’t had money for hormones or any surgery which doesn’t make me less of a woman. You seem to have taken the position that you have the right to decide Caitlyn is just a crossdresser and that Caitlyn has no say in the matter. Caitlyn was very vested in her life as Bruce and she is coming to terms with reinterpreting that part of her life. The press needs to let her do that on her terms and not try and imprint your opinions upon her. I never had that much invested in my male identity, and in fact, spent my life in the woman’s world of elementary teaching where while I didn’t look like one of the girls, socially conducted my life much like one of the girls. While my ex saw me as a male, I did all of the female chores at home and didn’t have a male social life. Caitlyn’s life was much different. Just like Caitlyn said in her first interview she wouldn’t do this just to make money as an entertainer like many crossdressers do. I don’t believe Caitlyn sees herself as a man, she sees herself as a woman and she just had her gender changed to female on her legal papers. No man would do this.

  3. Anja

    I don’t know if you are transgender or not, but I think you are very harsh in your comment. Caitlyn has been a famous man for over 60 years or should I say played the role of a famous man? When you spend such a long time being someone you are not, surpressing the real person inside yourself it is hard to suddenly be your self. I think it is like when I, a woman from the Netherlands, would move to America with my parents at a young age. I would speak english every day of my life and when, after sixty or more years, I would return to mij country It would be very hard to speak dutch even though my parents would occasionally would speak Dutch in my presence. Give Cait some time and ne happy that her, maybe over the top, presence on TV helps the transgenders of this world accept who they are and give them the courage to come out and become who they really are, just like Cait.

  4. Nicole

    I hope you take the time to read this. This is coming from an ex-mormon. I share your back ground however I was LDS for over 30 years and have been transitioned for close to 20 years. I am post operative. I am no longer active in the church.

    You article critical of Caitlyn comes off as smug and judgmental. As I read through your blob it reminds me of the feelings I had as special snow flake status when I was an active member.

    I was allowed to go to womens events, RS, etc. The only thing I was prevented from going to was the LDS temple. I had been through the temple previously as an elder. I even went to single adult dances as a my true gender.

    Here is the deal. This is why I was accepted by the church and got so far.

    1. I had passing privilege.
    2. I did not have a family involved.
    3. I was new to the ward and state and no one was familiar with my prior male presentation.
    4. I was meek and mild and a strong believer.
    5. I spent 2 years meeting with my bishop and my stake president. I got clearance for SRS. So I got them on board supporting me.

    While my first stake president was loving and accepting he told me some things. He said before he met me (He was informed I was trans) he was inclined to threaten me but he said the spirit told him not to. He said as he got to know me he knew I was a female spirit. This made me feel so good! Then he gave me a warning. I was to never help another trans person. That this journey was unique to me. I guess I got my special snow flake status right? It felt so wrong. I told I was not like the others and this was my mission.

    Before I moved the Bishop knowing full well my status gave me a blessing. In that blessing I was addressed as a daughter of God. Afterward I asked him if he was aware of that and he said he was and it felt right to him,.

    I moved to the other side of the state. I met a new bishop and eventually met the new stake president. ON our very first meeting he asked me, have you had any gender related surgeries including SRS?. I lied for the first time to a church leader and said no. I said no to protect my previous stake president.

    I turned away from the church realizing that I did not need the church to be a good moral person and I knew who I was. Blessings like I never dreamed of before opened up to me and I very happy with out the church or any religion for that matter.

    Now the issue with what you wrote about Caitlyn really ticked me off. Why? Because you like me are judging her by a special snow flake status. Caitlyn is new to this journey. Sure she is in her 60’s and some of this is comical. But the real problem with the show is not her. The problem is Jenny Boylan and Kate Bornstein and what they are teaching her. They of all people should know better. They are accelerating a process that should be at ones own pace and I worry that Caitlyn’s journey is being short circuited and she will miss out on many growing moments the rest of us take for granted. For instance Kate’s bs about how we are freaks? Come on. That was irresponsible of Kate.

    The white wedding style renaming ceremony was just not even something other trans people could relate too. It was weird and Jenny Boylan played right into that fantasy bull crap. The biggest problem with the show was it did not spend time in the trenches were other trans people are but instead sat on top of Mt. Malibu where the gods reside.

    Call out the problems with the show all you want but please, be careful not to diagnose Caitlyn. She very well may be a TV or Crossdresser but let her figure that out that is not for you to decide. Don’t rush to judgment and toss one of ours under the bus so it validates your journey. That is not cool. After all you and I could sit here and play “More Tran than you.” All night long but what would that accomplish?

    Any way, just my thoughts on the matter. If I were to give you some advice it would be to reconsider what you wrote and maybe even retract it. That is up to you.

    Good luck.


  5. lynn

    umhum yeah right.

  6. Julia grant

    as a TRANSEXUAL we should not be under a trans umbrella confusing lots of people we need to stand alone as we are unique. Xxxxxxxxx

  7. Sasha Scarlett

    You are an idiot. You have no right to judge who or what Caitlyn Jenner is or is not. You have no right to comment on where she is or is not her in transition. You have no right to define cross dressing, tranvestism or what transgender is or is not. You DO have the right to an opinion and have every right to share it. That said, you do not speak for me or the community as a whole. I think you are riding on the coattails of Ms. Jenner’s fame and, the one thing you are correct about is your last statement: “…reality TV is not the go-to source” and neither are those that comment on same.

  8. Gloria Girard

    As trans, we must stick together
    Making accusations and being unkind to others is like all the bigoted people people who we see every day

  9. Gloria Girard

    Be kind to one another Terry and other transgender people apart doesn’t make us better it makes us just like to look at the public that we have to put up with all the time. What is wrong with you? Don’t judge others.

  10. Tracie O'Keefe

    As an intersex person, someone who crossed the transsexual divide for over forty five years, a clinician who has seen more than 3000 sex and/or gender diverse people in my clinics and a major campaigner for the rights of sex and/gender diverse groups of people, I find this article confusing. I personally do not identify the with hamburger type label of ‘transgender’ and never did http://www.thescavenger.net/glbtiq-sp-1239/glbtiq/134-dont-call-me-transgender.html.
    For those of you who do not know Virginia Prince invented the word “transgender’ for a category of people, like herself, who did not want surgery. She was in fact transsexual phobic and could not understand why anyone would want genital surgery.
    Many people travel their journey of sex and gender discovery in different ways and all of those journeys are valid in an individualistic and democratic society. Prejudice begins with the categorisation process seeing people in your own group as valid and other people outside your cohesive group as invalid. It is pernicious and against the Yogyakarta Principles.
    My sister-in-law gave birth the six children and drove a truck, mended it and changed engines, whilst her husband cooked Sunday lunch. Does this make her not a women?
    Many Lesbians buy their partners cars. Does this make them a man?
    I support Katlyn Jenner’s right to identify in any way she wishes without being demeaned. Go Caitlyn 🙂

  11. Katherine Wolfgramme

    First of all, I am shocked, as a transwoman woman of twenty five years I found your “article”, offensive and nasty on so many levels.

    The transgender journey is unique and individual to each trans person.

    Some women are butch and some women are not, it really is as simple as that.

    Her name is Caitlyn, as a transwoman I am
    offended you refuse to use her name.

    The blasé venom in your “article” is insensitive and rude. Your words speak more about who you are and how you think and not about Caitlyn.

    I am ashamed of you and I am ashamed for you.

    I am very proud of Caitlyn, I celebrate her choice to be true to herself even at her age and I wish her every success for her future.

  12. Caroline

    You are very ignorant, Jaclyn. For one, Caitlyn isn’t hanging around with harpies. Jennifer Finney Boylan is a English Professor and way more knowledgable on transgender (not transgendered) people than you are.

  13. Autumn Sandeen

    I’m a trans woman who served in the military. I’m a Dad too, with three children. Google me — I’ve even got a Wikipedia page.

    We had a saying in the Navy: “Who the hell are you that I should give a sh** what the f*** you say?”

    I’ve seen enough gender police, transgender and cisgender, in my time, and I’m especially tired of those who’ve decided that they have decided they are the arbiters of who is and who isn’t transgender; they “know” the gender identity of others better than these others know themselves.

    Oh ye of faith.

    The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. ~1 Samuel 16:7

    You don’t know what’s in the heart of Caitlyn (that’s her legal first name) Jenner; she (her legal gender is female) knows better than you what’s in her own heart.

  14. Micheala McLeod

    I am a 66 year old transgender, I too am a dad, but all my life or as far back as I can remember I have felt like a woman, so don’t judge Caitlin because you don’t know. I started my transition just 2 years ago and I identify as female including at work, I too am waiting for the final srs op but have had to stop because of health reasons. But I will continue my journey as transgender, anyone who criticises us should stop, because you don’t know what’s in out hearts.unles you really know us don’t comment

  15. Lisa

    We ALL have our own truths and our own authentic self. Being critical of someone else’s journey simply discounts your own. I hope one day you realize this and allow her and others to live their OWN truth just as you want to be allowed to live yours.

    And FYI, it’s transgender, not transgendered.

  16. Sarah

    It isn’t mandatory to consider yourself as part of any ‘transgender community’. This is an umbrella term and too wide to be meaningful of any real identity. I never transitioned between genders, (trans-gender), I was always female. It was my physical sex which needed adjustment. I certainly don’t consider myself part of a ‘transgender community’, and I’m not alone.

  17. Millie

    Forgetting about the label of transgendered / crossdresser.

    Caitlyn has legally change the name from Bruce to Caitlyn. On any legal Form/Document, Caitlyn has to write Caitlyn instead of Bruce. So everyone should follow that ethic as well.

    It doesn’t matter if Caitlyn is transgendered or a crossdresser. Caitlyn is still Caitlyn under the law.

  18. Lucy

    Dame Edna is happily married to his wife (a woman) but is a cross dresser and makes his millions by using his character as a show (very clear disguise)..Caitlin Jenner is a cross dresser, full stop….

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