I Am Cait: Will mainstream America be watching?

I doubt it. I can’t see the average American tuning in to watch the first instalment of Caitlyn Jenner’s 8-part documentary series on Sunday night (July 26). Or average Canadians, either — even though the program is being heavily promoted in advertisments in Canada.

There is no doubt that many media outlets have jumped on the Caitlyn Jenner bandwagon, and the decision to schedule the program during the dog days of summer is a click-bait boon for them. Lots of people will read their reports on the show — including lots of people who had better things to do than actually watch the show.

The average American  — and the average Canadian — don’t really give a hoot about transgenderism. It’s not on their radar screens. When pressed, though, you’ll probably find the majority of people are uncomfortable with the idea that someone designated male at birth could “change” their gender. Still, although they might not buy the idea, they have a “live and let live” attitude. But they won’t be watching.

So, who will be watching?

Some members of the trans community will tune in, no doubt. Some activists will be critiquing the program: Did Caitlyn and friends get the issues right? Did they embarrass the trans community? Does Caitlyn have a right to represent the transgender community? Could the activists have done a better job?

No doubt, some right-wingers will watch the show with a very critical eye, and will be on social media within moments firing missiles of bigotry against Caityln and trans people in general.

And, sure, some people will tune in out of curiosity.

But I suspect the show will not be a big ratings hit, though I’m sure it will rake in some big bucks in ad revenue.

Will it actually raise some awareness about transgender issues with people who are not already aware of those issues? Maybe.

Will it disturb some people who knew nothing about transgender issues? Maybe.

Personally, I won’t be watching because I don’t get the E! network. Would I watch it if I could? Answer: Only if I had nothing better to do.

But I will read the reviews — in mainstream media, alternative publications and some right-wing rags — and monitor social media afterward.

I imagine most of our readership here will be watching, right? Or not right?

Will you be watching I Am Cait?

— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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11 thoughts on “I Am Cait: Will mainstream America be watching?”

  1. No I will not be watching. I am at the enough is enough already point with all of the television gender programs. In fact all the tabloid front page photos are beginning to make me a bit self conscious and sometimes uncomfortable in the grocery checkout lines. I have never been in a Canadian grocery store so I do not know what is sold near the checkout area. Here in my part of the U.S. at least a dozen tabloids all over the place. I may be a bit picky about this but too much of anything generally does more harm than good in my opinion.

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  2. I’ll be watching because I watch anything and everything trans related. When Jenna Talackova made headlines I watched and then watched her show on E! Though at times it was like girl please it was still someone that was of my kind up their on the tv. I watched The interview Caitlyn did. And unlike the haters that hate the Kardashions it’s reality TV to its finest and people will talk. As for the knew doc I Am Cait I think someone as big as That is good for th younger generation. I don’t think it will be done badly and if anything it will be well and I’m sure people will be able to get an insight into someone’s life. As trans people we need to support each other. How the hell are we to get accepted by others if we don’t do it to are own.

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  3. Possibly not, though we might be surprised in individual cases:

    For example, a couple of conservative Christian friends with whom I was close prior to transition, turned chilly from the start of transition until quite recently. They saw the Jenner/Sawyer interview and then approached me with warm an humility to renew our relationship, citing the interview as helping the to better understand and accept what I have had to do. They always wanted a warm relationship with me, but my transition put distance between us, and they didn’t know how to break the ice. For my part, I was expecting them to bash me about being trans and transitioning as we were both part of a church that excommunicated me for being trans.

    With people in the general population, I have noticed that most are “good for” one deep talk about trans things, but that’s all. After that, they find it “too much” or simply lose interest. The ones who want follow-on conversations are usually those who have had to become interested in us, maybe because a family member or friend has “come-out” to them.

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  4. Questions, questions, questions …

    “I imagine most of our readership here will be watching, right? Or not right?”

    I’ll answer that one at least …

    “Only if I had nothing better to do.”

    (Hmmm, now where have I heard that one before?)

    I do get E! But I had to check to find out, since I’ve never watched it.

    I may DVR it though … where it can join ” “Bruce Jenner: The Interview,” which I’ve never bothered watching either.

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      1. Jill, I read everything you post. No, seriously, I do. 😉

        I read a ton about the Sawyer interview, including “Bruce Jenner: Questions left unanswered in TV interview,” in the days after, and watched excerpts. I just never watched “it.” With all the prior ‘TMZing’ of Jenner, I already had serious Jenner fatigue

        In any event, I always find the reaction to news more interesting than the news itself … that’s where my focus will be directed come July 27th.

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        1. I have asked our film critic to review the show for us here — if she watches it. But whatever the case, we will do a follow-up here and everyone who watched it can offer their opinions.

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  5. I’m flabbergasted. I supported Cait when she came out, but I did not know there was a TV show to follow then. It is just another Kardashian shameless self promo to make more money. I will not watch.

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