We live in a world where it can be difficult to be true to yourself. Pressures from society, the media, and even the people closest to us can perpetuate stereotypes and instigate a fear of expressing ourselves honestly.
But 2015 has brought a new spokesperson for self-worth in Caitlyn Jenner (formerly Bruce, as seen above at the 1976 Olympics where she won the gold medal in the decathlon). Following an emotionally charged interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in April 2015, Caitlyn — then still going by her given name — confirmed that she had always identified with the female gender. After 65 years as a man, Caitlyn realized she would have wasted her whole life if she didn’t experience the woman she always felt she was meant to be.
For several weeks, it was speculated when Jenner would make a full transition. Over the weekend, it was confirmed that Vanity Fair would profile Jenner’s true, female identify in a cover that would hit newsstands this summer. On Monday, they released the photo and small excerpts from the cover story, written by sportswriter Buzz Bissinger and photographed by famed fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz.
As Caitlyn makes the transition to “mother” of six children and “stepmother” of 4 (of Kardashian Klan fame), she remains a source of inspiration for the LGBTQA community. Even more, “Grandma Caitlyn” is met with more joy as she prepares for the role of grandparent once again (thanks Kimye!), giving inspiration and the prospect of hope and acceptance to others struggling with gender identity in today’s world.
Regardless of personal beliefs, Caitlyn Jenner can be seen as a champion for personal success, both on and off the track. Jenner’s story proves it is never too late to follow your heart and speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.
Photos via Vanity Fair/Annie Leibovitz.