Caitlyn Jenner visits GLAAD

This week on I Am Cait, Caitlyn Jenner visited GLAAD's office to learn more about how the media can do a better job of talking about transgender people.

For several months, GLAAD has been working with E! to ensure that the network is fully trained on transgender terminology and issues so that the network could respectfully and accurately help Caitlyn Jenner tell her own story. We've conducted seven transgender competency trainings for their employees based here in the U.S. and in countries around the world.

GLAAD provided materials on how to be an ally to the Jenner/Kardashian family to help them use respectful terminology when speaking to the media about their parent. GLAAD also worked closely with the network as they prepared to air the two one-hour specials about the family's reaction to Caitlyn's transition. And GLAAD's Board co-chair Jenny Boylan is a consultant on I Am Cait and appears in several episodes.

It was our pleasure to work with the network and the producers of I Am Cait  to help them find a diverse group of transgender people to include in the show. Viewers tuning into I Am Cait are learning more about Caitlyn Jenner, but they are also learning with Caitlyn as she immerses herself in community with other transgender people for the first time. She is taking the spotlight shining on her and turning it on trans people with very different life experiences, allowing them to tell their own stories, in their own words. And the impact is global. I Am Cait airs in over 120 countries, reaching over 100 million subscribers. Viewers around the world are seeing her story, and the stories of the other transgender people she meets.

With only eight percent of Americans reporting that they personally know someone who is transgender, the stories of transgender people featured in entertainment and news have immense power to shape our views on the subject. Unfortunately, the majority of those stories in film and television, as well as in print and TV journalism, have historically been dehumanizing and filled with harmful and inaccurate stereotypes. The real life experiences of transgender people often mirror the mistreatment their stories receive in the media, with rates of discrimination, poverty, and violence soaring above those facing the general population. In the past 8 months, at least 17 transgender women have been murdered - the majority of them transgender women of color. And 41% of transgender people report having attempted suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.

I Am Cait is a chance to celebrate Caitlyn Jenner living her authentic life, while also seeing how her experiences are both shared and unique among her transgender peers. If viewers are watching, curious about Caitlyn, they are also seeing many other trans people whose lives are very different from hers. At GLAAD, we believe that I Am Cait will help those viewers feel more comfortable accepting their own transgender family members, co-workers, classmates, and friends. And that acceptance will contribute to making the world a safer, more welcoming place for all transgender people.