Lesson Plan

Caitlyn Jenner and the Power of Coming Out

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GRADE LEVEL: High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

Caitlyn Jenner has been in the news because she was recently interviewed on ABC’s 20/20 news program and came out as transgender; more than 16.8 million people tuned in to hear her story. Caitlyn Jenner’s fame spans several generations: she was an Olympic athlete in the 1970s where she won the decathlon, Jenner has been in several television programs and she’s also known by many people because of her marriage to Kris Kardashian Jenner and her participation on the reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, for eight seasons. Now that Caitlyn Jenner has told her story, she has become the most famous openly transgender person in America.

This high school lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about Caitlyn Jenner’s experiences, reflect on what it means to “come out” and explore the impact of coming out on the individual, others, policies and society as a whole.

[Lesson updated as of June 9, 2015]

This lesson plan was originally written after the Diane Sawyer interview in April 2015 in which Bruce Jenner came out as transgender. On June 1, 2015, Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself and her new name to the world through a Vanity Fair magazine cover titled “Call Me Caitlyn,” which will appear in the upcoming July issue and an interview with Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger. On coming out, she told Bissinger, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life.” In her debut tweet, she posted: “I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”