Every year, Glamour selects its Women of the Year: women that break barriers, erase stereotypes and change the game. Caitlyn Jenner is a Woman of the Year—and she deserves it.
A year ago, Caitlyn Jenner didn’t exist. She was Bruce Jenner, the Olympic Gold medalist-turned-father of the Kardashians, who was keeping a secret his entire life. Despite his machismo and reputation as a traditional husband and father, Bruce always identified as a woman. At the age of 65, he shocked his family—and the world—by transitioning into Caitlyn.
It wasn’t easy. We watched as Bruce grappled with telling his family and the public, while dealing with paparazzi and media scrutiny on a daily basis. Why is Bruce painting his nails? Is Bruce taking hormones? It was relentless. But Bruce has always performed under pressure. He chose to come out about his decision with Diane Sawyer in an honest and in-depth interview.
Following an incredible Vanity Fair debut, the world met Caitlyn. She took her fame and privilege and has turned it into a platform. From her reality show, I Am Cait, to winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Caitlyn uses her pulpit to shine a light on the transgender community. “When you have a voice, and you have an opportunity at the world level to be able to speak, it has to be right,” she says.
Caitlyn Jenner isn't perfect, but she has made transgender issues a part of our everyday conversation. She’s normalizing and putting a face on an identity that has---for far too long--lived in the shadows. If Caitlyn Jenner can save one trans kid’s life, it’s worth it to her. “Thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, the stories of thousands and thousands of trans people—in all their glorious, messy, contradictory struggles—are at last becoming known,” says Jennifer Finney Boylan, cochair of the board of GLAAD and a transgender advocate. As for Caitlyn, “I am just excited about the future for the first time in a long, long time," she says. "And that is a nice feeling to have.”
Her story is our story. It doesn’t matter that Caitlyn Jenner was not born a woman to win Glamour’s award. If she’s taught us anything, it’s that gender is how you feel you are on the inside and has nothing to do with societal definitions. Caitlyn identifies as a woman. She deserves to be Woman of the Year.