"All I want to do is slip into society," says Caitlyn Jenner during this week's episode of I Am Cait.
Last week, we were introduced to the new E! series, I Am Cait, which follows the life of newly transitioned, Caitlyn Jenner. As covered last week in our first recap, the series presented itself as a mix of Caitlyn's life, but also an educational platform for trans issues. While the premiere episode served as more of an introduction, Sunday night's episode dives right into the deep end.
While it is clear that Caitlyn is enjoying her discovery of the Female Fashion World, there are still parts of her transition that she still struggles with. In this episode, we first see Caitlyn discuss her self-consciousness towards her voice. She, as well as many other trans women, find their comfort and sense of self through exterior means through their clothing, hair, make-up, etc. However, what a trans person sounds like also carries a huge importance and anyone can be "outed."
What makes this show so important as a viewer is to see how Caitlyn's relationships with her family and friends have remained intact and that she has an excellent support system. Step-daughter Kim Kardashian West and family friend Malika Haqq stop by Caitlyn's home in this episode and she asks for "feminine tips" from the two. They discuss things like eating food and wearing heels, but then the conversation shifts to Caitlyn's voice again. It's clear that this is weighing heavy on Cait, so much that she brings up the possibility of vocal surgery. However, the topic is only mentioned briefly. The visit ends with a sweet, but hilarious moment passing between Kim and Caitlyn as Caitlyn attempts a higher pitched voice.
The big story arc of this particular episode surrounds Caitlyn assembling her first group of trans women "girlfriends." While she's had Girls Nights before, as she discusses with personal assistant and stylist Ronda and Courtney, this is the first time the group would be exclusively trans women. With the help of her friend Jenny Boylan, Trans Author and Professor, Caitlyn enjoys a weekend with diverse trans women, which we see challenge her views and start conversations she's never had.
Among this group of women are actress Candis Cayne, writer Jen Richards, and trans activists Drian Juarez, and Chandi Moore. When watching this episode, it was great to see how supportive this group of women were of Caitlyn, but also very aware and outspoken about the privilege she's been afforded. Jen Richards has no problem celebrating Caitlyn's authenticity, but says "we need to also question and challenge the system." Chandi Moore also comments, "If [Cait's] going to become our representative, she needs to learn the struggles we all face."
Because Caitlyn has been catapulted into the spotlight and already deemed an activist, she still has much to learn. Throughout her girls weekend, she hears the stories of fellow trans women who have struggled through poverty, having to do sex work, and being denied employment.
Halfway through the episode, Caitlyn accepts an opportunity to expand her knowledge of the trans community. Jenny and Jen want to bring her to the Human Rights Campaign office in San Francisco to further her education of the less privileged. This trip makes her friends nervous due to Caitlyn's Conservative views. She makes comments about trans people possibly "abusing" the welfare system, which makes for a tense moment among the group.
It is clear that Caitlyn is eager to learn, but how much is she capable of absorbing all at once? The viewers only see the beginning of Caitlyn's meeting at the Human Rights Campaign, however, the conversation starts heavy. The trans women Caitlyn are interacting with have dealt with violent acts against them and the economic struggle. Immediately they call her out for her privilege. Angelica Ross and Blossom Brown are among the group, both Trans Women of Color activists, highlight intersectionality among trans issues. They are not holding back, and it is clear that Caitlyn is a little bit out of her comfort zone. As the intensity rises, the episode ends with a promise of "To Be Continued."
Overall, the episode is well-rounded. We see Caitlyn being happy in her own skin. She's enjoying exploring her new style, but also taking steps into learning about her community. It will be quite interesting to see her full reactions next week as she is fully confronted with her privilege that she might not even know exists.
Other moments included Caitlyn not being ready to wear her bathing suit publicly during her girls weekend away, and her interest in trans actress Candis Cayne. She finds Candis to be "beautiful," which seems to be Caitlyn's first romantic interest since coming out. How will this all play out? We are definitely eager to find out!
Catch up on all I Am Cait episodes on E! Online and watch the show every Sunday night, 8PM EST.