Caitlyn Jenner is feeling better than ever.
Five years to the month after transitioning and appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair with the message, “Call Me Caitlyn”, the “I Am Cait” star is looking back on her journey.
“It was so emotional,” the 70-year-old tells People of the first time she saw her new driver’s licence photo in July 2015. “There I was. Caitlyn Marie Jenner. But then, I wondered, did Bruce deserve to be thrown away like this? He did a lot of good things. He raised 10 kids. But I wasn’t turning around.
“Bruce did just about everything he can do. He raised 10 kids. Now what does Caitlyn do?” she taught at the time.
Jenner continues, “I thought, What a great opportunity to change the world’s thinking. Fifty-one per cent of trans people attempt suicide. The murder rate — we’ve been losing one trans woman of colour every two weeks.”
She also talks about how being a lifelong Republican with conservative views that put her at odds with much of the LGBTQ community.
“They said I’m ‘too controversial.’ And that hurt,” Jenner says. “I think I had been wearing rose-coloured glasses. I thought I could change the world. Now I know I can only try and change one person at a time.”
But at the end of the day, she is committed to making life better for trans people.
“I love my community. I truly want to help,” she says, revealing that she has quietly been giving college scholarships to trans students through her foundation.
“This is my journey. Yes, it is different than other trans people. I get it,” Jenner says. “But the bottom line is this: When I wake up in the morning, I’m happy with myself.”
Jenner also received some kind words from daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
“When my dad came out as transgender, our relationship grew. She could finally be honest with me. We could talk about deep emotions she was feeling through that time. Growing up my dad was not usually one to talk about her feelings so that was a big step for us,” the 24-year-old model told People.
“I used to watch old Olympic videos of my dad and wish I could be a part of those spectacular moments with her. There are so many stories she tells about her life and I love to just sit there and listen. She has lived so many amazing lives in one lifetime. My favourite thing to learn from my dad is about my dad. Inspiring then and inspiring now,” she continued.
“Because of my dad’s bravery, I’ve learned to love what I love and not be ashamed of it,” she added. “She’s been my role model since before I can even remember, from sports growing up to now with her wisdom. She’s so brave and I aspire to be as brave as her one day,” she added.
Said Kylie: “My dad has always been an inspiration to me, from winning the gold medal at the Olympics to getting her pilot’s license. However, watching her live out her true self has been the most inspiring of them all.”