words are all i have

The Cult of Cait, Vol. 3: On the road again with Trans-zilla

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patti dawn swansson

patti dawn swansson

There are 318.9 million people in the United States of America. It’s little wonder why 317.9 million of them channel surf past I Am Cait on Sunday nights—Caitlyn Jenner is a yawn.

Here’s your basic episode of I Am Cait, the E! channel’s Ode to the Odiferous Hollywood Glam Trans Gal:

  • Cait drags an unsuspecting victim into her vast clothes closet to choose an outfit.
  • Cait and her gaggle of gal pals in the Cult of Cait drink wine and discuss a transgender issue, and Cait is usually “shocked” to learn that transgender women are mistreated.
  • Cait bemoans the pitch of her voice.
  • Someone in the gaggle of gal pals cries, usually the High Priestess herself.
  • Cait again drags yet another unsuspecting victim into her vast clothes closet to choose yet another outfit.
  • Cait and her gaggle of gal pals in the Cult of Cait crack open yet another bottle of wine and discuss yet another transgender issue, and Cait is once again “shocked” to learn that transgender women are mistreated.
  • Cait bemoans the pitch of her voice some more.
  • Someone in the gaggle of gal pals cries again, usually the High Priestess herself.

Spellbinding stuff, eh? Get that Emmy acceptance speech prepared, Kitty Cait.

That’s not to suggest Episode 3 in this exercise in Kardashionesque self-indulgence was devoid of excitement and a drip-drop or two of drama (heavy on the sarcasm).

Why, when Cait wasn’t playing bossy bitch to her personal assistant and close friend Ronda Kamihira, the Trans Troop went roller skating, don’t you know. And dirt biking, too. Oh what fun they had on their road trip to San Francisco and environs.

cult of caitAs for the drama…well, Kitty Cait wore a bathing suit—a white, one-piece number—for the first time. In public. If, that is, you consider a gaggle of your hand-picked trans gal pals to be the public. How did she look? “Pretty good,” she declared. But she didn’t take a full-body dip into the pool (there always has to be a pool handy for this girl.) Oh no. That would ruin the hair and makeup.

The High Priestess also slipped into something other than her one-piece: True confession mode. She wants her children to be “proud of their daddy (cue the tears)”; she wrestled mightily with the notion of creating a TV show “that’s gonna make a difference in the world (cue the tears)”; she was having so much of a hoot with her gaggle of trans gal pals (cue the tears) that “I don’t wanna go back home” to deal with those pesky paparazzi; and she wants to have all the “right parts” were she ever to date a man.

Oh boy. I’m guessing all the fellas in Hollywood began forming a queue outside Cait’s boudoir door as she spoke.

And by the way, girls, be advised that “you would feel so much more feminine if you were with a guy. A guy who treats you that way, okay?”

No, it isn’t okay, Cait. Most women I know don’t need to be on a man’s arm to feel feminine. Certainly lesbians don’t. Some woman might need a man to change a car tire or take a stubborn lid off a jar of jam, but to feel feminine? As if.

We’re now three episodes into I Am Cait, a show supposedly designed to “make a difference in the world,” and what have we learned? Well, we’ve learned that the High Priestess is extremely naive, she has Ellen DeGeneres’s home number on speed dial, and she treats staffers Ronda Kamihira and Andrea Metz as nothing more than underlings to serve her every whim, barking out orders rather than delivering gentle directives or requests.

But we have been given little insight into the challenges of the transgender life.

The word “freak” is often used in describing transgender individuals, especially the women. It’s a cruel and callous label. And not at all accurate. As I wrote not so long ago, mainstream society needs to know that we are no different than our friends and family who aren’t gay or transgender. We work at the same jobs, we play in the same places, we worship at the same churches, we’re the same skin colors, we get married, we raise families, we love, we laugh, we cry, we have our dislikes, we suffer, we commit crimes, we learn at the same schools.

I Am Cait is the perfect vehicle to deliver this message. To alter public perception. Instead, it is a wasted opportunity.

As much as Jenner’s gal pals have provided compelling anecdotal evidence of their difficulties and dangers, also their pleas to be looked upon and treated as “normal,” the High Priestess repeatedly hijacks the storyline with lame laments or ditzy questions about the visibility of a bra strap, thus letting the side down. Badly. She, and she alone, is a circus sideshow.

Or, as T-Troop member professor Jenny Boylan submitted, Caitlyn Jenner is Trans-zilla.

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