Caitlyn Jenner Is Free, Now Let Her Have Her Moment

Free and brave. Free and unapologetic. Free and stunning. Free and already not only slaying, but scene stealing.

Michael Arceneaux

In the behind the scenes clip from what will surely be regarded as her legendary cover of the July issue of Vanity Fair, Caitlyn Jenner reflects on her former life as Bruce Jenner before concluding, “Caitlyn doesn’t have any secrets. Soon as the Vanity Cover comes out, I’m free.”

Free and brave. Free and unapologetic. Free and stunning. Free and already not only slaying, but scene stealing. If you recall, Caitlyn’s stepdaughter, Kim Kardashian, revealed that she was pregnant with her second child yesterday. Mazel tov to them and all that, but Caitlyn is officially the new Beyoncé of that family.

Did Caitlyn intentionally plan to steal Kimmy’s thunder? I’m not sure, but I do know Kim Kardashian will have several months to tell us about her pregnancy and even more thereafter to discuss how she got her body back to being ready for more selfies and nude photo shoots. She’ll be alright. If anything, Kim is probably making sure Caitlyn doesn’t embarrass herself or the family with her clothing choices.

Vanity Fair

To wit, Kim has already excitedly tweeted the cover, writing: “Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair Annie Leibovitz! How beautiful! Be happy, be proud, live life YOUR way!” I doubt Kim feels competitive until Caitlyn lands a Vogue cover anyway.

As far as the spelling of Jenner’s name — Caitlyn with a C as opposed to a K — that is clearly intentional. That entire family is obsessed with the letter K, but now that Caitlyn has her own show on the horizon, the more she separates herself from them, the better off she is.

When it comes to the cover itself, all I have to say is “Kitty on fleek. Pretty on fleek.” If you were in Harlem, you probably heard me shout, “PUSH THROUGH, SIS” in a coffee shop. Look, Diane Sawyer insinuated to Caitlyn that she couldn’t really tip out here and slay the girls because at her age, women’s fashion is blase. You told her, Caitlyn.

Okay, now that we’ve spoken on all of the great things, I have to focus on a few things. I saw this AP headline via Twitter: “Bruce Jenner makes debut as a transgender woman in a va-va-voom cover for the July issue of Vanity Fair.” No. No. No. A much better header would’ve been: “@Caitlyn_Jenner makes debut on July cover of Vanity Fair. Quickly considered bad bitch in first place.”

You’re welcome.

From this day forward, it is not Bruce, it is Caitlyn. Likewise, you do not refer to Caitlyn Jenner as a he, but “she.” Caitlyn is here so the pronouns ought to be clear.

Meanwhile, I have also seen concerns expressed that Caitlyn’s media blitz will take attention away from the stories of other trans men and women, notably those of color. I understand the concern, but here’s the thing: The majority of folks into Caitlyn’s story right now are largely motivated by the reality that Jenner is a huge celebrity. They probably weren’t paying attention before, but with Caitlyn’s visibility comes more attention for the community at large. And let’s be fair to Caitlyn: Even in her interview with Diane Sawyer, she highlighted the number of trans Black women who have been violent attacked and killed.

Caitlyn has proven herself to be thoughtful in that regard, so let a girl have her moment.

The same goes for the Bible thumpers who have probably had sex before marriage, mixed fabrics, ate a shrimp po’boy or crab cake, and worked on a Sunday. Sometimes people are far too quick to co-opt a story and make it some kind of “teachable moment” or hashtag, but pace yourselves, folks. Sometimes it’s okay to let your thoughts marinate, or in some cases, be tossed into a trashcan.

That said, congratulations to Caitlyn Jenner. To me, you look like a brunette, older version of Kim Basinger. To others, you look like Jessica Lange’s hotter twin sister. A few consider you Janice Dickinson, if she aged gracefully. Regardless of who you favor, you are being authentically you. It is a beautiful thing to behold. Inside and out.