Episode 4 of the new season of the Caitlyn Jenner show aired in the UK over the weekend. As a few people have expressed an interest in my thoughts on these shows I’ll continue to have them.
This episode saw the girls in Iowa. There was a brief visit to a very small town where they met up with the local trans activist. Yes, there was only one; a very brave lady who took a decision to stay in that small town after transition to be visible and a role-model for local kids. That evening the girls did some sort of event at a local casino, and met up with some local trans youths. The kid they interviewed for the show was overjoyed. Which just goes to show that even reality TV can do some good now and then.
Moving on the Des Moines, the girls caught up with the Democrat campaign circus. Hillary and Bill managed to say all the right things, which melted even Caitlyn’s icy Republican heart. At one point Caitlyn noted that she has to pay $430,000 a year towards Obamacare and isn’t eligible for the benefits. I can see her point — no one likes paying taxes — but at the same time I was thinking about what I could do with that money.
I note in passing that according to the TotalJobs survey released last week around 55% of UK trans people earn less than $27,500 a year (£20,000), and the median salary for the UK is in the region of $39,000 a year (£27,500).
The main reason the girls were in Des Moines was to visit Gracelands University, where Caitlyn went to college and started on her athletics career. Gracelands is part-funded by the Mormons, and has a lot of devoutly religious students. The girls were somewhat nervous of the planned Q&A session with the students, but they seemed to handle it very well. Chandi’s sincere Christian belief, and Kate’s tale of losing her daughter to Scientology, won the audience over.
An unexpected complication arose because one of the girls knew some students at Gracelands. Ella is new on the show this year. She’s the daughter of a friend of Caitlyn’s, and barely out of high school. Like many women who transition young, she is seriously good-looking. It so happened that a good friend of hers from high school, and a boy she had had a crush on there, were both students at Gracelands. She tried to set up a meeting. The friend turned up, the crush did not.
That did not surprise me in the slightest. It is a rare cis guy who is prepared to spend any time in the company of a trans woman if that company might be construed as implying any sexual interest. Currently the trial is taking place in New York of James Dixon, who is accused of beating 21-year-old Islan Nettles to death in 2013. Dixon has confessed to the crime, but is only being charged with manslaughter and is apparently pleading not guilty. In his taped confession he told police:
that he had succumbed to “a blind fury” after his friends started teasing him for flirting with a transgender woman.
I expect him to get off, because there will be cis men on the jury who would feel exactly the same.
Update: It appears that Dixon’s lawyers got cold feet and persuaded him to change his plea to guilty of manslaughter. I understand he’ll be sentenced to 12 years, and if the US prison system is anything like ours he’ll serve no more than 6. The fact that he has been convicted of manslaughter rather than murder does, of course, make it clear that the lives of trans women are valued less then those of anyone else.