Caitlyn Jenner puts a spotlight on gender transition

Jun 26, 2016

Caitlyn Jenner leaves the Greenwald Pavilion at the Aspen Meadows campus on Sunday after speaking about her becoming a trans-woman.
Credit Carolyn Sackariason/Aspen Public Radio News

Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the world’s most famous trans-woman, closed Aspen Ideas Festival’s Spotlight Health yesterday. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.



The Olympic medalist said when deciding to go public that she was transgender, she finally understood why it has taken 65 years to make the transition from Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner.

“I thought to myself, Bruce has done just about everything he can in life ... Raised a family. Won the games … maybe for the first time in my life I can live my life authentically … and in God’s eyes make a difference,” she said.

Caitlyn Jenner speaks with writer Buzz Bissinger at The Aspen Ideas Festival's Spotlight Health closing session on Sunday.
Credit Carolyn Sackariason/Aspen Public Radio News

 Buzz Bissinger was the author of the Vanity Fair article when she transitioned from male to female. He is now collaborating with Caitlyn on her memoir.

He said when he walked through downtown Aspen Saturday, Caitlyn was stopped at least 75 times by people. Each time, she gave them her full attention — whether it was to talk with them or pose for a selfie.

“He … She was not trying to prove anything except ‘I am now a trans-woman … I want to break down barriers. I want you to see that I’m accessible. That I’m decent and that I’m kind and that I care,'” Bissinger said.

Jenner told the audience that mental health and psychological issues plague the transgender community, particularly among youth. A nine times higher suicide rate than the rest. Forty-one percent of trans people under 21 attempt suicide. Caitlyn said she contemplated killing herself a few years ago after being outed by the tabloids.

Today, she said she’s glad she chose a different path.