Ever since Caitlyn Jenner confirmed that she is transgender and undergoing a gender reassignment earlier this year, she has been praised and criticised in equal measures.
Whilst some fans have welcomed the amount of awareness and support that Caitlyn has brought to the trans* community thanks to her high profile and famous family, others have accused her of not truly understand the plight of LGBT+ people due to her privileged lifestyle.
A lot of the 65-year-old’s comments have also sparked backlash, with her recent interview with TIME magazine being a cause for concern for the community.
In the interview, Caitlyn attempts to justify her focus on her physical appearance, stating that “people are still uncomfortable if a trans person looks like a man in a dress”, and the former Olympian has now written an open letter to apologise for the upset her interview caused.
Linking to the piece over on her Twitter page, Caitlyn wrote: “Setting the record straight about some of my recent comments”, with the letter reading: “In the first scene of the first episode of I Am Cait, I was up at 4:30 in the morning worrying, ‘I hope I get it right.’
“Since I told the world my truth six months ago, I’ve tried to be a force for good. I’ve met and listened to many people in the transgender community, from trans women of color, to the parents of trans kids who’ve taken their own lives, to people working in the courts and legislatures and media to make the world a better, safer place for trans people
“I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people tell me their stories. Even now, at the end of this whirlwind year, I still feel like I have so much to learn.
“I guess it’s true that there are some things that I have not gotten right. Sometimes this is because I’m still finding out about the issues. Sometimes this is because something that is true for me isn’t true for other people in our community. And sometimes I’ve said things that just come out the wrong way.
“And sometimes the media takes one comment out of context—or interprets it to mean something other than what I meant.
“In the last week many people have pointed out some mistakes I’ve made. My first reaction was to feel hurt, to wish people would give me more credit for having a big heart, and to know I don’t have a mean bone in my body. But as I’ve thought about it, I guess I’ve come to understand that maybe I have made some mistakes, and I need to make my real feelings more clear.
“This week a lot of attention was brought to my comments in my TIME interview, in which I said that my appearance is important to me, that I want people to be at ease when they encounter me, and that people are still uncomfortable if a trans person looks like ‘a man in a dress.’
“I think I caused a lot of hurt with this comment, and I’m truly sorry.
“What I was trying to say is that our world really is still a binary one, and that people who look “visibly transgender” sometimes can struggle for acceptance and may be treated poorly by others. And while this may be true, it’s also something that needs to change.”
Caitlyn goes on to explain that those who don’t want to conform to gender norms have “every right to look and present exactly as they choose”, admitting that she understands that her comments “probably” made her seem like all she “cares about is fashion, or makeup, or appearance.”
The star clarified: “I can tell you I really enjoy all of that—it’s who I am. It’s the world I come from, and as a person in the media I have certain expectations for myself. But I am only one person. There are a lot of ways of being trans.”
Poignantly rounding up the letter, Caitlyn acknowledges that this is “probably not the last time” she will say the wrong thing but promised to “keep learning”.