Yesterday there was a storm surge on social media. Why? Caitlyn Jenner, the Olympic decathlete champion formerly known as Bruce, made her debut on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine under the headline ‘Call me Caitlyn’. After months of speculation over whether it was all a publicity stunt, the 65 year old reality TV star finally revealed her new persona.
Jenner features in the reality TV show Keeping Up With the Kardashians as the step-parent of Kim Kardashian and her siblings and former husband of Kris Kardashian. Jenner has since gained widespread praise for her open approach to transition, particularly in a tell-all segment with confessional US TV-host Diane Sawyer shortly after his separation from Kris. The interview drew an audience of more than 20 million viewers and garnered massive media attention.
Caitlyn Jenner told Vanity Fair:
“If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life.'”
Jenner joined social media sites Twitter and Instagram and quite literally ‘broke the internet’ after racking up more than one million Twitter followers in around hours, another wold record. Just two weeks prior, American President Barack Obama hit the one million followers mark in five hours.
Her first tweet said: ‘I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self.’ Users flocked to respond to Caitlyn’s first two tweets. Among countless retweets and favourites, fans took the opportunity to wish Caitlyn well and comment on her new transformation.
Another Jenner world record, and at 65? Who’da thought! Humbled & honored to have reached 1M followers in 4 hrs. Thank you for your support.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 1, 2015
Overall, there has been a positive reception for Caitlyn revealing her transitioned female self. Jenner’s stepdaughter Khloe Kardashian said on Instagram: “We were given this life because you were strong enough to live it. I couldn’t be prouder. Caitlyn, You are beautiful.”
If you are wondering about the correct way to refer to Caitlyn Jenner, a Twitter bot has been created to ensure that people refer to Caitlyn Jenner using the right pronoun following her high-profile transition. The account, @she_not_he, sends public tweets to those it detects have used the male pronoun.
Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover will hit stands on June 9th. Jenner will appear at this year’s ESPYs on July 15th to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.