As someone who grew up and came out in the spotlight, Raven-Symoné knows a thing or two about what Caitlyn Jenner is going through, but her take is surprisingly critical.
“I think it’s wonderful, and yes, it needs a light being shined on it,” Raven-Symoné explained on The View on Monday. “When I came out, I didn’t go and go hardcore and be like, ‘I’m going to save the world for LGBT…’ You’ve got to learn it. You’ve got to learn it first, and she’s not, really.”
Fellow cohost Rosie Perez countered that perhaps Jenner had been waiting in the wings for the opportune moment and platform to bring her voice into the conversation, therefore strategically shaping the direction.
“Well, I think you can be strategic before you come out as well,” Raven-Symoné responded. “Before [I came out], I was definitely repping the community, even when I wasn’t saying this is what I was. And I’m not faulting [Caitlyn], because, yes, we need [her]. It’s too fast, too soon.”
As for her own part in speaking for the LGBT community, Raven-Symoné doesn’t think of herself as an activist. “I can’t be,” the former Disney star shared. “I learned from the real gay rights activists. I can only do what I can.”
And while I do think that Jenner’s transition and spotlight with I Am Cait has all seemed to happen very quickly, I tend to agree with Perez. Jenner seized a very opportune moment, recognized her voice in the community and went for it. Just because she and Raven-Symoné have different approaches to coming out doesn’t mean either lady is handling it incorrectly.
Jenner now has her E! show, an honor from the ESPYs and a new blog on WhoSay where she is championing for the trans community.
Her most recent post featured the mom of a trans son, Kyler, who committed suicide. Kyler’s mom spoke to parents, encouraging acceptance. “Just keep fighting for them,” she wrote. “Never give up. Be firm with people and help educate them… Love and embrace your child.”