One of the more terrible reactions Caitlyn Jenner faced when she came out as transgender was speculation that she was transitioning for media attention and the shot at her own reality show. But Caitlyn Jenner's show I Am Cait proved it is so important, and it's so much more than just a reality show. The transgender community not only deserves the spotlight, but needs it. The suicide rate for transgender people is staggering. Surveys have said that that 4.6 percent of the population has attempted suicide, while 41 percent of "trans or gender non-conforming people" have tried to take their lives.
And these statistics are exactly what Caitlyn Jenner wants to address. Yes, her show chronicles her life, but it also spends a lot of time devoted to talking about the transgender community. For example, take Kyler Prescott's family, who Caitlyn Jenner met on Sunday's episode.
The 14-year-old Kyler Prescott committed suicide in May 2015, and Jenner went to Prescott's San Diego home to meet with his parents after the tragic event. "That's the problem that we have here, [suicide] happens all the time," Caitlyn said on the way over the house. "I don't know what I can do at this point but just be a friend."
So Caitlyn sat with Kyler's mother and listened to her talk about her "beautiful" son and his "beautiful soul." It was heartbreaking to hear her say the words, especially because she and the rest of Kyler's family had been so supportive of him. "Even with the full support of your family, it's a hard journey," his mother admitted. It has to be hard to know you did everything right, and it still wasn't enough.
Kyler's mom went on to talk about how Kyler was accepted by his friends at school, but often had a hard time with adults who didn't understand the importance of proper pronoun usage. That's something Susan P. Landon, from the Los Angeles Gender Center, also spoke about when she appeared on the first episode of I Am Cait to talk to Caitlyn Jenner's mother and sisters and answer any questions they might have had.
Overall, the episode was about a lot more than just Caitlyn Jenner, and the promo for the season shows it will delve even deeper into the struggles the transgender community faces. It's clear that, through this program, Jenner is trying to do some good and spread much-needed awareness. By featuring stories like Kyler Prescott's, or inviting people like Susan P. Landon to speak, she's giving the spotlight to those who deserve it most. Hopefully the series can continue to inform people about acceptance, and what we can all do to support the transgender community. "I have such a responsibility. I hope I get it right," Caitlyn Jenner said during the episode. "We're going to make a difference in this world; that's my mission."
And it's clear after a heartfelt Episode 1, Jenner is going to do just that.
Image: James White/E! Entertainment