'I Am Cait' Has More Important Work To Do

by Laura Rosenfeld

One of the most highly anticipated and talked about TV shows of the summer, maybe even the year, is about to wrap up its first season. The Season 1 finale of I Am Cait airs Sunday night, and though that will only be the eighth episode of this series so far, with all of the tears, enlightening moments, and new beginnings that this inaugural season of I Am Cait was filled with, it's really been quite the satisfying season. However, that only means I want more of I Am Cait to appear on my TV screen, stat. I have a feeling we have a lot more to see from Caitlyn Jenner in the near future, so will there be a Season 2 of I Am Cait ?

(Update: On Thursday, October 22, E! announced that they were picking up I Am Cait for a Season 2. E1 EVP Jeff Olde said, "Caitlyn’s story has ignited a global conversation on the transgender community on a scale that has never been seen before. We are honored Caitlyn has chosen to continue to share her ongoing story with our viewers around the world.”)Update 2: On Jan. 14, E! announced in a press release that I Am Cait Season 2 will premiere on March 6.)

Unfortunately, I don't have a definitive answer for you at this time. There have been no official announcements from E! regarding the fate of the show just yet. Last month, RadarOnline reported that I Am Cait will be getting a second season, but only because Kris Jenner stepped in and because of the fact that it will air following Keeping Up with the Kardashians. However, there are no sources named in this story, and again, E! has not confirmed anything. This Gossip Cop article published the same day also refutes the RadarOnline report, although it too doesn't name sources.

So using the information that we do have about the success of I Am Cait's first season, does it look like the show is in danger? Well, yes and no. The ratings for I Am Cait weren't spectacular. Though the series premiere of I Am Cait was E!'s most watched since Kourtney & Kim Take New York in January 2011, its initial viewership of 3.892 million people dropped 47 percent to 2.256 million for the second episode, according to Variety. Ratings for I Am Cait continued to decline week after week.

Still, you can't deny that I Am Cait and its leading lady continue to grab headlines on the daily. Clearly people are still interested in getting up close and personal with Caitlyn's life, so all in all, a Season 2 of this series seems likely. Plus, you don't really think E! is going to get rid of a Kardashian-konnected property that quickly, do you?

If for some reason E! doesn't renew I Am Cait, this network will sure be sorry. There is so much more to learn about Caitlyn's life outside of what we see in the public eye, and the transgender community as a whole, that it's almost unfair to not give it a second season. These six story lines show that the second season of I Am Cait has the potential to be even better than the first.

1. An Update On Caitlyn's Legal Issues

Caitlyn not only made headlines within the past six months for her transition, but also for the fatal car crash she was involved in in February. Prosecutors are still deciding whether or not to file charges against Caitlyn, according to the Los Angeles Times, but if they do and if she is ultimately found guilty, there's a possibility that she could face jail time. When asked about this on Today, Caitlyn said, "I was under the speed limit; I was going 46 in a 50 ... [Jail] is the worst-case scenario. I don't know. We'll see. The men's county jail — it is an enormous problem that they would put trans women in a men's county jail."

2. Give More Info About Caitlyn's Love Life

Caitlyn's love life has of course been a big topic on I Am Cait this season. With Caitlyn not letting us in too much and the rumor that she's got something going on with her friend and I Am Cait regular Candis Cayne, of course I have my fingers crossed that she will spill some more deets in the love department.

3. Continue To Put The Spotlight On Trans Teens

Being a part of the transgender community at any age is challenging, but it can be especially difficult for those transitioning in their teenage years. One of the great things about I Am Cait is that the show draws attention to these issues, and I really hope it continues to do so next season. A topic that we unfortunately hear about all too often in the news is the fight for gender-neutral bathrooms and locker rooms in schools. One such battle is happening right now in Missouri, where 17-year-old trans teen Lila Perry's fight to change in the women's locker room has made national news. Hopefully, the huge platform of I Am Cait can help give these important issues enough exposure to the point where we don't hear them in the news anymore.

4. Feature Trans People In The Military


This summer, the Pentagon announced that it is working on lifting the ban on transgender people serving in the military. Though somewhere around 12,000 troops currently serving in the military are transgender, a serviceman or servicewoman can still be discharged based on his or her transgender identity. With this ban, reported by USA Today, to be lifted by May 2016, it seems like a great time for I Am Cait to highlight the trans men and women who serve in the military, such as Sgt. Shane Ortega, who has served 10 years in the military and five of those as a transgender man. America should see the faces of all of our heroes, after all.

5. Invite Raffi Freedman-Gurspan On The Show

Six months after he was the first president to use the word transgender in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made history once again this year after he appointed the first openly transgender White House staff member in August. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan serves as an outreach and recruitment director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. An individual who is blazing trails like that certainly deserves some airtime on I Am Cait.

6. Show The Work That Still Needs To Be Done


While it's been great to see more transgender representation in media recently, there's still a lot of work to be done for the community in the areas of tolerance, safety, and health care, just to name a few. I hope I Am Cait continues to put a spotlight on the important issues facing this community so that when the time comes when there is no longer an I Am Cait, they will already be resolved.

Image: James White/E! Entertainment