“I really felt like we opened up this conversation, like it’s okay to talk about trans issues. That was by far probably the most important thing we did in season one,” Caitlyn Jenner said Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., where she was on a panel to promote the second season of her E! docuseries “I Am Cait.”
“There are so many issues in this community that we really need to deal with and talk about in the future, and that’s what season two is,” Jenner continued.
Now that the conversation has been started, aside from putting trans issues into mainstream media, Jenner, along with the show’s cast and exec producer Andrea Metz, explained that the new episodes will have room to focus more on Jenner living her life — Jenner will take a road trip with her girlfriends and will embark on dating in the sophomore season.
However, Jenner is proud to be at the forefront of the conversation, and wants to continue to spread the word. “This is not an issue that has borders. This is an issue that is all over the world,” she said, proposing an idea for a possible third season: “I would love to take this show global. I want to see what trans issues are all around the world.”
Despite carrying the flag for the trans community by way of her E! series, Jenner admits, “I am not a spokesman for this community.”
“Everyone in the media kind of puts me at that because obviously, I’m in the media a lot. But I am only a spokesman for me and my story,” she continued. “I have so much to learn in this community, much to learn about trans issues, so much to learn about women’s issues. I’m only nine months out.”
Asked by a reporter how she reacts to negative coverage in the media, Jenner — who admitted to reading most of what’s written about her — responded honestly, “Yes, I do see it. It is tough.” She said she’s “famous for calling people who write articles” and no matter what they write about her, “My only criticism of that is you don’t know me, you never talked to me, and you don’t know what my intentions are and what type of person I am,” she said, noting that it’s easy for the media to focus on negative issues.
Questioned about her very public coming-out and splashing her new-found life on reality TV, Jenner explained, “I was getting destroyed in the tabloids for years and I had to address it at some point.”
Since addressing the issue and living life as her true self, Jenner explains she’s learned to have more fun — something that will be showcased in “I Am Cait’s” second season. “To be honest with you, for almost my entire life, I never really liked going out. I never really felt like I fit in anywhere. I was always kind of more of a loner. Now, after transitioning, I actually really enjoy going out. I have so many fun things to do and all the girls [cast members on her show] have helped me out getting past the tough part… Now I am just really comfortable with myself to have a social life.”
While the girls’ social life will be showcased on “I Am Cait” when it returns in March, don’t expect the series to turn into something like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” — though Jenner did reveal at TCA she just filmed a scene for that show with her daughter Kendall Jenner.
“It was a conscious decision that I wanted this show to be about the issues,” Jenner answered when asked to compare her show with “KUWTK.” Speaking about her “Cait” cast of transgender women, she continued, “Sure, we all love good clothes and all that kind of stuff, but I really wanted the people to get to know all of my girls… I love my kids. I have a great relationship with all of my children, but this is a different show. This is about a serious issue. I wanted to somewhat keep that distance although Kris has been on the show, Kim has been on the show… My kids are great and I love them to death and the success of the show is unbelievable. It’s been highly successful.”
Still, the upcoming “Cait” season will feature even more Kardashian and Jenner visits, said Metz, who stressed the importance of an entire family transition in Jenner’s situation. “You are going to see a lot more of the Kardashians and Caitlyn’s ever-changing relationship with the kids and Kris.”
Despite being an Olympic superstar and reality star, Jenner admitted, “I have never sought fame and all that kind of stuff — that’s just not me. The only thing I have struggled with in my life is inner peace. I have found that. I had long talks about how I can do this and do it properly… I knew I had to do it publicly just because I was being trashed so bad.”
Besides the Kardashians, another splashy subject that came up during the TCA panel was Jenner’s politics — she’s a Republican — which will be featured in the new season of “I Am Cait.”
“I really don’t want to heavily get into politics because certainly, we have enough politics going on in the U.S. right now,” Jenner said before speaking about her hope to change conservative views on LGBT issues. “Isn’t it good that they have an ally? Somebody on the team who can maybe go and change their minds… We have our fingers crossed that we can win them over.”
Whether Jenner ends up pursuing social change this election cycle, politics aside, she said everything she does in the public eye is for the benefit of transgenders. “This platform is not for me — it is for this community,” the reality star told the room. “I have been very blessed. People every day of my life come up and thank me so I’ve been very, very blessed, but I know it’s not that way for everyone in this community.”