Caitlyn Jenner is enjoying her life, and her happiness continues to be one of the sweetest and most inspirational parts of her decision to share her journey to presenting as her true self with the world. During a golf game slash exclusive interview Jenner did with Matt Lauer and the TODAY Show, it is exactly that happiness that has given Jenner such a unique and interesting view on life. We all remember the horrifically offensive Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume that drew heavy criticism from GLAAD, from the Internet, from the world for making a costume out of Jenner's identity and invalidating her existence as a joke or, worse, as an outfit meant to scare people. However, Jenner doesn't find her Halloween costume offensive at all. At least, not for the same reasons that we do — though she acknowledges why people would be offended.
"I don’t think it’s offensive at all. I know the community does. And they’ve gotten a lot of criticism for doing it," she said. "I think it’s great. Except they could have a better looking outfit for me, you know?" Here, she began to laugh. "...We could have done my own costume! That was a serious bustier on the cover of Vanity Fair. At least get some good clothes!" When it came down to truly explaining why she felt the way that she did, it came down to two things. "You gotta enjoy life. Life’s too short. I can’t get too upset about that kind of stuff." And, most importantly, "I’m in on the joke."
That might not seem like an important distinction, but it really, really is — especially for someone like Jenner, who, as a public figure, has been subject to a lot of mean-spirited jokes both before and after her decision to tell her story in her own words. As she pointed out, it has been all too easy for people to, over the past few months and couple of years, to turn her into a punchline that hurt her and her family. "There is a fine line. Back in the old days, when the media and all the rumors were out and the media was destroying me, it was extraordinarily hurtful for me, for my family for them," she said earlier in the interview. "The late night guys in particular. Not just the rags, the late night guys, to me, did disparaging jokes… since then, they have not done it."
While it's easy for us to come to Jenner's defense — and while the costume is offensive to the trans community as a whole whether or not Jenner herself is specifically offended by it — it's important that we respect her refusal to be offended by the costume, and, especially, her reasons for not being offended by the costume. After all, she has been put through the ringer by hurtful rumors, unfounded gossip, and comedian after comedian taking an easy shot at her without giving her the chance to tell her own story. There is a level of comfort and ease surrounding her that she never seemed to have anymore, and she seems to be enjoying her life so much now that she feels free to live it honestly that it's kind of no wonder that something as silly as a Halloween costume isn't enough to burst her bubble. She's been through the worst of the comments. This? This is nothing.
It also helps that even Jenner admits that she does not consider herself the sole voice of the trans community and that, in fact, she's well-aware that she is in a position to be a lot more lenient and easygoing about a lot of things that affect someone differently than they would affect someone else who isn't in her position. "I’m the easiest on people. The community, you know, GLAAD all the people in the community, are like, 'oh my god you have to get the pronouns right, you have to do this, you have to do that.' I’m much more tolerant than that. I mean, I understand that it’s difficult for people to understand this. And that’s okay."
It's refreshing to see Jenner maintain such an upbeat attitude throughout this newer, freer stage in her life, while making it clear that, while she "[has] learned so much," it doesn't necessarily mean that she and the trans community are going to be of one mind on all issues, nor that she is the sole spokesperson for the community. Jenner respects that the Halloween costume is offensive to people and to the community, even if it's not offensive to her, and we owe it to her to respect her opinion on the matter. It is, after all, her opinion, and she is entitled to that just the same as we are. It's nice to see that nothing is capable of shooting down her happiness so soon.