Caitlyn Jenner made her debut Monday in a promotional tweet from "Vanity Fair" announcing that she would grace the cover of the magazine's upcoming issue. Jenner also tweeted from her new Twitter account: "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me."
You may know Caitlyn Jenner as Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist who broke world records in the 1976 decathlon. You may also know her as the patriarchal figure on "Keeping up with the Kardashians," the E! Network reality show following Kris Jenner, the Kardashian/Jenner family matriarch, and her kids, who include the very-famous Kim Kardashian, and their significant others, who include Kanye West.
As news spread of Caitlyn Jenner's introduction to the world Monday, a common refrain floated up from social media and comments sections: "Why is this news? Can't we talk about something more important?"
Jenner's transition is newsworthy, and it's worth talking about.
I don't necessarily think "Keeping up with the Kardashians" is quality television. I don't really want to read about Kim Kardashian's second pregnancy. But the Kardashians and their extended clan are popular because we made them that way. The media is a mirror we hold up to ourselves, and what we see is what we choose to reflect.
Many of us do want to keep up with the Kardashians — and their associates.
But Caitlyn Jenner isn't just famous as part of the Kardashian clan. She's a world-famous athlete who made her country proud on the world stage.
At this point, it doesn't matter why she became — and has continued to be — famous. Now, she is a trans woman choosing to share her life and her journey with us. She is using her celebrity to raise awareness of something many people know very little about. That's news.
I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me.— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 1, 2015
Every time we click an article about Jenner's story, we are helping to educate one another about trans people and the trans experience. That's something worth talking about.
I also had to applaud Shep Smith's level-headed reporting on Jenner's transition. Media Matters for America, a nonprofit with the mission of "correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media," according to the "About" page on their website, shared a video Monday from Fox News on Facebook and said: "How should media cover Caitlyn Jenner? A good start would be listening to how Shep Smith did."