The Secrets of my Life – Caitlyn Jenner

Hi guys!

I really love using my Kindle for reading. I feel like the book just flows by. I was a little sceptical about this book when I first bought it, but it was on sale for less than £1 so I figured why not.

I don’t think this book is a blurb only because Caitlyn Jenner is quite a known person by now. If you don’t know who she is she was formerly known as Bruce Jenner, the famous Olympic athlete who won the decathlon in the summer Olympics of 1976. She transitioned from a man to a woman in 2015. She is the step-father of the Kardashian girls and a father of four biological children.

What I think is quite great about this memoir is how Jenner describes the gender dysphoria she struggles with all her life. Gender dysphoria is (definition from Wikipedia) the distress a person experiences as a result of the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. In this case, the assigned sex and gender do not match the person’s gender identity, and the person is transgender. It starts when he (Jenner) is young and he doesn’t understand what is wrong with him. He just understands that what he feels isn’t normal. A boy isn’t supposed to want to dress in his mother’s and sister’s clothing. I know fairly little about gender dysphoria although I’ve heard the term ‘born-in-the-wrong-body’. I’m not sure if that will be the right term to use here, but it is the one that comes to my mind when I read Jenner’s story. Anyway, I have limited experience in this area, but for an unknowing person like me I feel that this isn’t a topic that has been discussed much, and I think this is important to talk about. This topic has come to the light more in the recent years and I think that is very important. This is a kind of distress that several people suffer from and they often suffer in silence because I think the society still frowns upon it. In this sense, I think it is important that people like Jenner and others who have gone through all of this and come out stronger on the other side, write about it and talks about it. This will make it easier for us inexperienced people to understand their distress more. One doesn’t have to like it, but we don’t have to frown either.

I’m not a huge fan of the Kardashian’s. I have watched most seasons and after reading the book I think that the world has gotten a somewhat ‘fake’ impression of Caitlyn, or as she was then, Bruce. When reading the book I can understand why people have gotten this impression. In the series Bruce seems to be a little off, almost constantly playing golf, and when Bruce does actually appear around the house he is being bossed around by Kris (his at that time wife) or mouthed back at by one of the girls. There is good scenes too when he appears, but they seem to fade into the shadow of the more negative ones. I’m not saying that Bruce was a complete angel during this show. What truly has gone down in that family no one in the world will know except the family themselves. How much is staged and how much is real isn’t easy to say, but when Bruce decides to transition to Caitlyn you can tell that the family is upset. Accepting, but upset. From what I got from the show a lot of drama came out of Caitlyn releasing this very book. I didn’t find it that offensive towards the family, but that is a personal case so who am I to judge.

This book is a good read for people who want to learn more about the personal experience of gender dysphoria. Jenner doesn’t speak for every person, so this is just one view of the distress and she also talks about this in her book.

Published: 2017

Genre: Memoir

Theme: Gender dysphoria, LGBTQ community

– The Book Reader

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