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