With great power, comes great responsibility.
The opening scene of I Am Cait, the docu-series chronicling Bruce Jenner’s transition to Caitlyn Jenner, is perhaps the most revealing: no makeup, eyes red and swollen from crying, shoulders heavy from the responsibility she bears.
“I just hope I get it right,” Caitlyn says. She is acutely aware that with great power comes great responsibility and there is no greater power these days than fame. She remarks throughout the premiere episode of I Am Cait that she has a voice and must use it, to give hope to the many in the trans community who have none if nothing else.
This is an E! production, so you cannot escape the punctuation of celebrity fluff – Caitlyn surrounded by her glam squad, clothes donated by Tom Ford and Diane von Furstenberg, changing cars to evade the paparazzi – but truly touching moments abound.
The first episode is essentially one of firsts. Caitlyn’s family (mother, sisters, daughters, Kanye West) is introduced to her for the first time. Concocted for the cameras? Maybe. But we also learn from Caitlyn’s sister Pam that the seeds of Caitlyn were sown more than 30 years ago and it was only two years ago that Bruce started talking about living an authentic life. “I was a professional at hiding it,” Caitlyn jests.
Caitlyn’s mother, Esther, and her navigation of Caitlyn’s transition provide the pulse for the episode. We see through a mother’s eyes how coming to terms with such a monumental change is complex and never an easy thing.