The triumph of “I Am Cait,” the new E! docuseries focusing on Caitlyn Jenner's life as a transgender woman, is how it manages to directly address trans issues while telling the specific saga of Jenner's family. “I am an expert on my story,” Jenner said of her struggles early in the episode. It's that willingness to share that makes “I Am Cait” both cool and uplifting. We culled the seven most awesome quotes from the premiere episode.
1. “I love records!” – Caitlyn, upon finding out she'd broken a record for most new Twitter followers.
One of the more impressive things about Caitlyn Jenner's emergence as an advocate for the transgender community is how articulately and carefully she describes her position and potential. She knows she doesn't have all the answers yet, but she's always willing to call herself out for being a novice when it comes to advocacy. “I hope I'm in a position to turn around and help this community,” she noted. When she learned that her new Twitter account had amassed more than a million followers in four hours — which broke Barack Obama's record — she blithely announced, “I love records!” Fitting for a person who once destroyed the Olympic Decathlon points record in 1976.
2. “I was so proud of Bruce when he was standing on that podium in Montreal. I thought I could never be more proud of him, and you know, I was wrong. Because I am more proud of him for the courage that he has shown. I loved him with all my heart, and I certainly love her with all my heart.” – Esther Jenner, Caitlyn's mother
Esther Jenner, Caitlyn's mother, was a dynamic character in the “I Am Cait” premiere. She'd never seen Caitlyn dressed (or even presented) as a woman, and her initial meeting with Caitlyn was loving but tense. She even asked a counselor how she reconciled Caitlyn's transition in relation to the damning implications of a certain Bible verse. (“I'm not a Biblical scholar, so I don't know what that verse meant to people at the time,” the counselor responded.) During a sitdown chat with Caitlyn, Esther acknowledged that comprehending the full transition was difficult. She used the old “he” pronoun often when speaking of her, but by episode's end she'd become quite specific about her feelings. The above quote was an episode highlight, a smart and loving moment of acceptance from a mother who admitted she had a long way to go in understanding her child's journey.
3. “I was hoping that she'd have the same personality as Bruce, and she does.” – Pam Mettler, Caitlyn Jenner's sister
You could see that Esther's acceptance arc was beginning when she and her daughter both realized that Caitlyn Jenner was the same human being they'd always known. In fact, this may have been the warmest moment in the entire episode. Esther later added, “You have the same soul you were born with.”
4. “I'm very optimistic about the future. And I'm dragging you along with me.” – Caitlyn joking to her mother.
Caitlyn's jocular sense of humor made this episode sing. Clearly Caitlyn had gathered that her mother needed time to grasp the reality of her transition, and this sympathetic teasing made that course of acceptance seem manageable.
5. “I've had a gun in my house. I've said, 'Let's just end it right here.'” – Caitlyn
Suicide was a prevalent theme in the first episode of “I Am Cait.” Caitlyn discussed the prevalence of suicide in the trans community, and she also opened up about her “very dark” moments of self-reflection. Jenner's willingness to be frank was even more apparent here than during her interview with Diane Sawyer a few months ago.
6. “Who wore it best?” – Caitlyn, joking after realizing she owned the same gown as her ex Kris
The premiere episode of “I Am Cait” did a brilliant job of conveying the Jenner family dynamic. There was plenty of humor and acknowledgment of what makes Jenner's experience different than that of many trans people (including paparazzi run-ins). When Caitlyn was showing off a new Tom Ford dress to Kim Kardashian, she noted that Kris Jenner owned the same frock. This led to Caitlyn joking, “Who wore it best?” Cait and Kim then hatched a plan for the exes to wear the same dress at the same event. Though Caitlyn's life is still in mid-upheaval, one thing is the same: Dorky parent humor remains dorky parent humor.
7. “Even with the full support of your family, it's still a hard journey. People assume that Kyler was bullied by other kids. That's not really the case. Really where he had the most problems was with adults not understanding.” – Katharine Prescott, mother of transgender teen Kyler, who committed suicide in May 2015.
Caitlyn attended a memorial for Kyler Prescott, a 14-year-old transgender youth who committed suicide in May of 2015. Speaking with Prescott's mother Katharine, she learned about the kinds of hardships openly trans youths face. Kyler's family openly supported his transition, but the suggestion that adults in Kyler's life were less understanding than kids is both unnerving and illuminating.