When Caitlyn Jenner appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair in early June, one of the many important lessons she taught people is that a name — and the feminine or masculine pronouns associated with that name — are powerful. The 65-year-old former Olympian had announced authentic self to the world, and the mere fact that she changed her name instead of choosing to exist as a woman with the moniker she was born with (Bruce) speaks volumes about the influence of one's name, insofar as what it tells the world about a person. But Khloe Kardashian and her sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner "Bruce," as she recently revealed on Australian TV show The Project. Their reason for doing so is understandable, but it doesn't excuse anyone else who is doing the same.
The 31-year-old reality TV star, who appeared on the show to promote her Kardashian Kids clothing line, said she and her siblings want to hold on to a piece of the past, and explained that Caitlyn is totally fine with them calling her any name they choose. Here's what she had to say:
We don't like to say that Bruce is gone, per se. We, my sisters and I, we will call Caitlyn "Bruce," and we've been told that's completely fine. She has told us we are allowed to call her any name we want to. Because on the phone, when she calls me, it's the same voice as Bruce. And if I'm not physically with her, it's hard to remember in the moment that I'm talking to Caitlyn, if that makes sense.
My guess is that, in time, Khloe and her sisters will become completely used to the transition, and they'll naturally start referring to Jenner as Caitlyn. It took Caitlyn herself two years to feel totally comfortable embracing that name, as fans of I Am Cait recently learned.
Khloe's admission is in no way an excuse for anyone else to call Caitlyn by any other name. In an age in which even iPhone's Siri corrects users who ask about "Bruce Jenner," the move toward total acceptance of transgender people and their identities is a positive one, and it can't afford to be slowed down. Khloe and her sisters aren't calling her "Bruce" because they don't respect her wishes — they too deserve compassion as they come to terms with their new family dynamic, which, as Khloe explained, includes an element of mourning the past. And it seems that Caitlyn is more than willing to give them that.