Introducing Caitlyn Jenner: LGBT advocate

Introducing+Caitlyn+Jenner%3A+LGBT+advocate

Cartoon by Michelle Bau

This story was updated 6/3/15.

“The one real true story in the family was the one I was hiding, and nobody knew about it. The one thing that could really make a difference in people’s lives was right here in my soul,” Caitlyn Jenner said in her 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer on April 24.

Garnering almost 17 million viewers, the 20/20 television interview thrust Jenner into the spotlight, but this time for something very different from the light-hearted reality show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist and former reality star personality, came out as transgender in the highly anticipated interview.

“I’m super proud of [her],” senior Sara Rosenstein said. “Transitioning is a hard thing to do, and I can’t imagine the added stress of being in the public eye.”

Some speculate the reality star’s decision to come forward is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Is the once household name now fishing for attention in light of his divorce from the Kardashians? Jenner’s authenticity in his interview with Diane Sawyer reveals otherwise.

“We’re going to change the world. I really firmly believe that, that we’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing,” Jenner said. “If the whole Kardashian show and reality television really gave me a foothold into that world, to really go out there and do something good, then I’m all for it.”

Jenner’s courageous confession rekindles the conversation for the misunderstood transgender community. According to the Williams Institute, 78% of transgender respondents who have experienced some type of abuse or bullying at school attempted suicide. Transgender youth especially face enormous adversity in their lives.

“I would like to work with this [transgender] community to get this message out. They know a lot more than I know. I am not a spokesperson,” Jenner said. “I would like to think that we can save some lives here.”

Jenner’s news may be unexpected, but her decision to go public is powerful and hopefully impacts the world positively.

“It’s brave of [her] to be transitioning late in life,” senior Gigi Olmedo said. “I think the whole thing brought a lot of awareness to the issue and hopefully some understanding too.”

Through Caitlyn’s strength to present to the often unforgiving media his story, she has a chance to educate and inspire youth engulfed in celebrity culture.

Update (6/3/15): This story was originally titled “Introducing Bruce Jenner: LGBT advocate,” but reflecting Caitlyn’s decision to change her name, the article has been updated with Jenner’s new name and pronouns.