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Caitlyn Jenner Opens Up About Media Speculation Before She Came Out As Transgender: 'This Ruins Lives'

It's now been a year since her iconic 'Call Me Caitlyn' magazine shoot.

01/06/2016 13:02 | Updated 01 June 2016

A year on from the big reveal of her already-iconic Vanity Fair cover shoot, Caitlyn Jenner has opened up about her life as one of the most high-profile transgender women in the world.

In an interview with ‘Makers’, the video series celebrating trailblazing women, Caitlyn speaks about her life at a time when the media were speculating that she was transgender, while she was still trying to keep it private.

She explains: “I thought one thing. If I’m gonna get started, maybe I should get a little tracheal shave.

“I thought, ‘well, nobody’s going to notice. I’ll be able to sneak in and sneak out.’”

Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn goes on to reveal that celebrity gossip site TMZ quickly learned that she was there for the procedure, resulting in her pleading for them not to run the story.

She says: “Of course, they got their spies out in Beverly Hills. The next thing I know, the next day I’m getting a phone call from [TMZ editor] Harvey Levin… ‘What were you doing in there? You were going in for a tracheal shave and that’s part of transitioning.’ On and on and on.

“I knew that the story was going to come out the next day. I told Harvey: ‘Don’t do this. This ruins lives. It ruins my life, it ruins my kids’ lives. And this is gonna start a firestorm.' There were already these rumours out there.

‘The media is going to go nuts, the rags are going to go nuts. I’m going to have paparazzi all over, I’m not going to be able to move.’”

Vanity Fair/Annie Leibowitz
Caitlyn revealed herself to the world in a photo-shoot with Vanity Fair magazine

Having since come out, Caitlyn goes on to discuss what she hopes her public profile can do for the trans community, adding: “I started thinking, what could I do to make a difference in the world? Because these people, who are dealing with this issue like I was dealing with it, deserve your respect. They’ve gone through hell to be the person that they are. And I don’t want to disrespect that.

“I want this issue taken out of the gutters and put on the front page. I want people talking about this issue.

“I want a family who has a little trans kid to not think, ‘oh my God I have a trans child, I’ve got to change schools, I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do that.’ No. It’s OK. How can I make that change?”

Watch more from Caitlyn’s Makers interview below:

Tap the image below to launch the slideshow:

  • Samira Wiley ('Orange Is The New Black' actress)
    Megan Mack via Getty Images
    "I was just taught that love is the most powerful thing."
  • Adore Delano (Drag performer/singer)
    Gabe Ginsberg via Getty Images
    "My voice is not only for singing, I speak about body image issues, HIV rights, and many other topics that should be addressed when you have a platform like mine."
  • Mary Lambert (singer/songwriter)
    Paul Morigi via Getty Images
    "Hearing women of all ages sing 'She Keeps Me Warm' at the top of their lungs - they don’t give a shit about what pronoun it is.

    "They get that it’s about love, so I think that’s really given me perspective. I think people can deal with it, and they get it."
  • Todrick Hall (YouTube star/singer)
    Robin Marchant via Getty Images
    "When you’re a person that’s trying to be a public figure and you’re black and you’re gay and for some people it’s a little too much for them to handle...

    "I think there are a lot of people who are afraid to be who they are and if I have to sacrifice a little bit of fame and a little bit of success because I’m being 100 percent truthful with who I am, hopefully that will create a paved way for someone else."
  • Ines Rau (model)
    Instagram/Ines Rau
    "It's all about what's in your heart. Gender and sexuality do not make you who you are. Your heart and actions do!"
  • Riley Carter Millington ('EastEnders' actor)
    Peter MacDiarmid/REX/Shutterstock
    "I want to help make a difference. [Being trans] is a part of me and I want hopefully to make other people feel like they can come out, like they can feel that they’ve got support."
  • Angel Haze (rapper)
    Brian Killian via Getty Images
    "Sexuality is like having a favorite colour. It doesn’t rule you, you know? And I should be able to do whatever and whoever I want at any given time."
  • Joe Lycett (stand-up comedian)
    David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock
    "Gender is fluid and I think it’s absolutely fascinating, so I talk about that a little bit in my show. I think it’s important some people do publicly go, 'Hey, I’m not straight and I’m not gay. I’m somewhere in the middle and that’s OK.'"
  • Ruby Tandoh (foodie/'Bake Off' finalist)
    Richard Saker/Rex/Shutterstock
    "To all the bros who hate social media, who pit it against 'real life' - I never would've had the courage to be me without Twitter's queer queens."
  • Troye Sivan (YouTube star/pop sensation)
    Frazer Harrison via Getty Images
    '[Being gay] been a non-issue for me. But the same thing that’s been a blessing in my life can lead someone to suicide. Every time I hear about an LGBTQ kid committing suicide, it’s just so much frustration. I just think about lost potential because a parent wasn’t accepting or a friend wasn’t, and it ended an LGBTQ kid’s life.

    "I really want the parents of my audience to see these videos actually. And realise that their reaction influences their kid’s entire experience. Showing them two sides of the coin: this is how it could go or this is how it could go. It’s up to you."
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