Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover has been the talk of the town this week and rightfully so. It’s a big moment for transgender visibility in our culture. Although the reactions to her coming out have been mostly positive, it has not gone unnoticed that she is a wealthy white woman who did not have to face many of the struggles of transgender people without the same financial security or familial support system.
Transgender people who aren’t rich or famous or on reality TV are now joining #MyVanityFairCover, a social media movement to give visibility to a community whose voices aren’t heard quite as loudly, who might not have the means or desire to look like Caitlyn Jenner. Crystal Fraiser started the hashtag to highlight the harsh realities the transgender community faces in order to give a fuller image of what it is like to live in this world as a transgender person. “The world only seems to embrace us if we’re wealthy enough or lucky enough to adhere to white, cisnormative beauty standards,” she wrote. “I’ve felt frustrated and useless and overwhelmed by opinions on transgender women and how we’re ‘supposed’ to look if we want to be taken seriously.”
“Whether we fit those standards or not, we’re beautiful, and we all deserve to feel beautiful, and be acknowledged by the world. Admiration and praise for trans women shouldn’t only come if we fit a narrow definition of beauty. As a good friend of mine said Monday ‘Where’s my Vanity Fair cover?'” The hashtag took off on tumblr and social media sites, with transgender people of all stripes creating their own covers and showing the diverse faces of the transgender community. Below, a sampling of the many brave faces and voices who participated.
— Marly-Jay Monroe (@marlymonroe) June 5, 2015
— Aneesh Sheth (@ashmeesh) June 4, 2015