Ever since Caitlyn Jenner transitioned nine months ago (in the very public eye, mind you), the reality star has faced controversy for a number of issues. Being a Republican, speaking for a community that wasn’t sure how to feel about her, looking better than most women her age. And while we’ve had the chance to follow much of her journey throughout the last year via her show we haven’t really had much chance to hear her speak. Until now.
The reality star did a rare media appearance on Thursday afternoon in Pasadena, Calif., where she was promoting the upcoming second season of her E! series I Am Cait. Other than small bits on Ellen and The Today Show (and of course the Vanity Fair spread and Diane Sawyer interview), Jenner has been fairly mum these past nine months so it was an opportunity to address a large group of reporters all at once.
According to Jenner, that’s for a very specific reason: just because she lives her life in the public eye doesn’t mean she wants to be there. In fact, had the tabloids not been so “awful” to her while she was going though this transition in the first place, she may not have done the show at all. Instead she felt forced into it.
“The platform is not for me, it is for this community, to be able to tell our story,” she says. “If my celebrity and all of that helps to do that and makes it better for the next generation of trans people coming up? Baby, I’m all in.”
Jenner notes that she knows she’s the exception to the rule when it comes to the treatment of trans people, and she feels very blessed to have seen “nothing but love.” But because it’s so hard for so many other people in the community, it was important to her to separate I Am Cait from her previous reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“I wanted this show to be about the issues. Sure, we all love good clothes and all that kind of stuff, but I really wanted the people to get to know all of my girls, everybody that’s involved with the show,” she says. “I love my kids, I have a great relationship with all my children, but this is a different show. This is a serious issue. I wanted to keep that distance.”
Of course, Jenner is the first to admit that Kris, Kylie and Kim have all been on her series, and she isn’t about to shy away from appearing on theirs if the moment is right. We’d expect nothing less from someone in the Kardashian/Jenner clan.
“It’s not like they have to hide me in the background because I can’t be on camera,” she adds.
As for the second season of I Am Cait, which returns sometime this year? Jenner says we’ll see a more confident version of Caitlyn than we met in Season 1, as she and her co-stars take their party on the road to meet other trans people and get to know the issues within the community.
“In the first season I really felt like we opened up this conversation, that it’s okay to talk about trans issues; that was by far the most important thing we did in Season 1,” she explained. “And in opening it up there are so many issues in this community that we really need to deal with and to talk about in the future. That’s what Season 2 is — we wanted to come out and meet the people.”
I Am Cait returns to E! Canada later this year.