Yesterday at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, a panel was held to talk about the upcoming second season of E!’s “I Am Cait,” which follows the journey of newly transitioning Caitlyn Jenner.
With a panel consisting of Jenner and her real-life friends and co-stars (Candis Cayne, Chandi Moore, Jennifer Finney Boylan, executive producer Andrea Metz and new member 19-year old Ella Giselle), the trans ladies are hitting the road and going cross-country to explore trans communities and issues across the country.
At the start of the panel, I asked Jenner what she believes she's gotten right so far in her journey when she gets her fair share of negative press. "I talked to all the girls after Season 1," she said, "and I asked them, what have we accomplished in our first season? And I really felt like we opened up this conversation, that it's OK to talk about trans issues."
She added that the exposure has definitely opened her up to people she sees regularly. "Every day of my life since I came out, somebody comes up to me and says, 'I have a trans cousin.' 'I have a relative.' All of a sudden, it's OK to talk about this issue. That was, by far, the most…probably important thing I think we did in season one."
That conversation, she explained, can only lead to more topics being talked about openly when at one time they were anything but. "For me the experience has been, yes, we opened up this conversation, but in opening it up, there are so many issues in this community that we really need to deal with and to talk about in the future, and that's what season two is. We wanted to go out and meet the people. "
During the exclusive trailer for the second season, we see the ladies on a bus traveling around the country and, along the way, talking politics and whether Caitlyn is a lesbian. In the trailer, Caitlyn says that she is done with women but doesn't elaborate further.
Regardless of who she is dating, she was also asked about her politics since she's famously said she's Republican despite the lack of support for LGBT people and issues. "It's kind of good if the Republicans haven't been very good on this issue, which I agree, they haven't been," she said. "Certainly the Democrats have been better on this issue, [but] isn't it good that they have an ally, somebody on the team [who] can go in there and maybe change their minds? That's a good thing. That's kind of the way I look at it."
Going back to some of the negative press that she's received in her very public transition, Jenner isn't hiding in a corner trying to ignore what's being said. "As far as all the criticism, yes, I do see it. It is tough," she said. "I'm very famous for calling people who write articles…and my reaction to that was to say to them, 'You know what? I think you had some very legitimate points in there, in your article. I thought it was very well‑written.' I said, 'My only criticism of it is you don't know me. You never talked to me. You don't know what my intentions are, and you don't know the type of person that I am. And that was my only criticism. So I'd like to talk to you. Let's get to know each other.'"
Jenner is thinking globally when she thinks of the message her visibility can bring with it, both in the show and in life. "Last year, we had twice as many murders as we had the year before towards trans women. There are a lot of very serious issues out there. But, with the show, I want people to know that these are normal people, that this happens. This is not an issue that has borders. This is an issue that is global. It is all over the world."
The second season of “I Am Cait” premieres March 6th at 9pm on E!
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.