Young members of LGBT community react to Caitlyn Jenner’s reveal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — No matter what you think of the newly revealed “Caitlyn” Jenner, you can’t help but look at July’s Vanity Fair cover of the world renowned Olympic star turned woman.

“He looks so much more in his element now,” says Jessie, a 15 year-old from New Haven. She’s part of an LGBT group called ‘Youth Kickback.’ She shared her story with News 8 after their Monday meeting.

She says she can’t imagine living a lie like Jenner for so many years. For Jenner, Jessie says, “The media attention wouldn’t have been particularly favorable.”

She feels fortunate she was able to come out at 12 years-old with no real rejection from her family.  She waited for right opportunity to first tell her dad while they were playing with golf discs in the park.

Jessie says, “He was telling me the one I had was a straight flyer and I said, “Well, if it’s straight it probably wouldn’t be compatible with me.” He was like. “What?”’

Jessie says an article she read online helped her figure out exactly what she is. “I’m pansexual, which means I could be attracted to anyone regardless of their gender or sex or any of that. There’s I believe a term that’s used for pansexual, “gender blind,” said Jessie.

Compared to her peers in Youth Kickback, Jessie feels fortunate to not have to deal with being picked on in the hallways at school.  She’s been homeschooled for a number of years now.” She says, “I don’t think I’d want to go to a school because of what I’ve heard.”

New Haven’s Youth Services Coordinator, Jason Bartlett, says that’s why the city just supported Kickback with $10,000 this year to put workshops together to work with gay/straight alliances in the local high schools.  Bartlett says, “Where young people feel oppressed because of their sexual orientation or gender identification, we hope we can work with Kickback and have them go out in a peer to peer way and really have them educate our youth.”

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