While the transgender community has widely hailed Caitlyn, née Bruce, Jenner's gutsy revelation of her transition from man to woman, many also warn that her experience is very little like most transgenders who struggle financially and face daunting discrimination in the job market.
Money's no impediment for Caitlyn Jenner. She has spectacular clothes and jewelry, a stylist, a hair stylist, and the best face and bod expensive plastic surgery can provide. She never has to work another day in her life. But Caitlyn also stands to make another fortune by publicising her transformation, which isn't an option for other transgenders.
Jenner says she didn't come out so publicly to make a buck. "I'm not doing it for the money; I'm doing it for my soul and to help other people," she says in her Vanity Fair interview. But will she take the money? Sure. "If I can make a dollar, I'm not stupid," she explains. "I have house payments, and all that kind of stuff .. Yeah, this is a business."
While she raises the profile for transgendered people, Jenner also sets an impossible, dispiriting "success bar" for others like her. The rich, attractive white celebrity represents the most
palatable narrative mainstream America is willing to accept for its transgender icons, said Lourdes Ashley Hunter, national director of the Trans Women of Color Collective.
According to the National LGBTQ Task Force, transgender people are twice as likely to be unemployed and four times more likely to live in poverty compared with the general population, a situation much greater for transgender black and Latina women, reports CNN.
"Caitlyn's coming out is relatable to mainstream American society because she is white, Republican, rich and famous," Hunter tells CNN.
"Her celebrity status is great for visibility, but it can and will be used as a distraction from the lived experiences of trans folk who continue to battle discrimination when accessing basic needs such as housing, employment, education and health care."