Caitlyn Jenner: the real reason you don't hear much from her anymore

Although Caitlyn Jenner has been in the spotlight for decades as an Olympian-turned-reality-star on Keeping up with the Kardashians, she became a bonafide cultural phenomenon after coming out as transgender in 2015. 

In a matter of months, Jenner became the poster girl for LGBTQ rights. After officially debuting her new identity in her ground-breaking Vanity Fair profile, she famously amassed more than one million Twitter followers in record time, accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, and documented her transition on her own reality show called I Am Cait. As she worked to help bring transgender issues to the forefront of societal conversation, the world watched with rapt attention.

But once the shock of her transition began to subside, a number of controversies, missteps, and gossip encroached on Jenner's popularity. She's been pretty quiet lately, so let's answer the question on everyone's minds: what's the real reason we don't we hear much from Caitlyn Jenner anymore?

I Am Cait was canceled

The E! docuseries I Am Cait broke new ground in transgender representation on television. With a record 2.7 million viewers tuning into its 2015 premiere, the popular series followed Jenner as she transitioned and began her new lifestyle. The show was awarded outstanding reality program at the GLAAD Media Awards the following year, but despite its impressive debut, the reality show struggled to sustain an audience. Ratings fell dramatically, and the series was axed after two seasons.

"We are incredibly proud of the two seasons of I Am Cait, a groundbreaking docu-series that sparked an important and unprecedented global conversation about transgender people, their struggles and triumphs," the network said in a statement (via Variety). For her part, Jenner remained optimistic following the unfortunate news. "After 2 amazing seasons of @IAmCait, it's time for the next adventure," she tweeted. "Thank you E! & thank you to the best girlfriends I could ask for!"

She's on the outs with the LGBTQ community

After facing severe backlash for admitting her initial ambivalence to marriage equality on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2015, Jenner has further risked alienating the LGBTQ community with her continued alignment with the Republican party and Donald Trump. "Listen, I understand the Democratic party is better on all LGBT issues, I'm not an idiot," Jenner told USA Today in 2017, adding that she felt she could "convince Republicans to do better." 

After claiming that hurting the LGBTQ community would be a "deal breaker" for her lifelong partisan support, Jenner called out the Trump administration for dropping protections for transgender students and attempting to ban transgender people from serving in the military. "I believe every American should be outraged by the disrespect shown to those people wearing our country's uniform," she wrote on her website. "The President must ask himself which side of history he will be on — and reverse his position immediately."

But Jenner's efforts may have been too little too late. "Caitlyn has eroded a lot of the enthusiasm that the LGBT community at large had for her as she was coming out," LGBTQ activist Danielle Moodie-Mills told The Wrap

Is she headed down the aisle?

While Caitlyn Jenner previously stated that she wasn't looking to find love again, it sounds like she may be getting hitched for the fourth time. 

In early May 2018, a report surfaced regarding her alleged plans to marry 21-year-old transgender student Sophia Hutchins. Despite the 47-year age gap between them, these two have been romantically linked since November 2017. While their relationship was previously described as "just friends" with a "mother and daughter" dynamic, "Cait really sees herself spending the rest of her life with Sophia," a source told Heat magazine (via the Mirror). Claiming Caitlyn feels like "a complete outcast" after losing her friends in the LGBTQ community and beefing with her family, the insider added, "She just wants some companionship and really felt all alone before she met Sophia."

According to the gossip rag, the pair planned to make things "official and get married" in "an intimate [wedding ceremony] near Caitlyn's Malibu home." However, Jenner's rep denied the wedding chatter, telling Gossip Cop, "[There's] no marriage that I'm aware of [being planned]."

She was hit with major lawsuits

In February 2015, Jenner was involved in a fatal multi-car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway. During the incident, she rear-ended a Lexus driven by Kim Howe and sent Howe into oncoming traffic, leading to a head-on collision with a Hummer that killed Howe. An investigation determined that Jenner wasn't speeding or using her cell phone and had engaged her brakes before impact, so she was not charged with any crimes. However, the accident led to a three-year legal battle in civil courts — and the resulting cloud of negative press hovering over Jenner threatened to overshadow her career.

"My heartfelt and deepest sympathies go out to the family and loved ones, and to all of those who were involved or injured in this terrible accident," she said in a statement at the time (via E! News). "It is a devastating tragedy and I cannot pretend to imagine what this family is going through at this time. I am praying for them. I will continue to cooperate in every way possible."

The following January, Jenner settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Howe's stepchildren, but she still faced another case with the driver of the Hummer. That lawsuit went on until January 2018 and resulted in an $800,000 settlement.

Her comments on womanhood were criticized

When Jenner was awarded the Transgender Champion award at the 2015 Glamour Woman of the Year Awards, her moment of triumph soon fell away to controversy. While backstage at the event, she infamously told BuzzFeed, "The hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear." The flippant comment was deemed offensive, and Jenner took a lot of heat as women slammed the reality star online.

"Caitlyn Jenner you do not understand what being a woman is about at all," actress-activist Rose McGowan said on Facebook (via The Daily Telegraph). "Being a woman comes with a lot of baggage. The weight of unequal history ... Woman of the year? Not by a long f**king shot."

To be fair, there Jenner's notorious interview with BuzzFeed did not conclude with her controversial fashion statement, but the rest of it seemed to fall on deaf ears. She also said, "I'm kind of at this point in my life where I'm trying to figure this womanhood thing out ... There's an element here that I'm still kind of searching for. And I think that'll take a while. Because I think as far as gender, we're all on a journey. We're all learning and growing about ourselves. And I feel the same way." 

The infamous Kardashian-Jenner feud

Caitlyn Jenner's 2017 tell-all memoir, The Secrets of My Life, became a point of contention with the Kardashian side of her family. The book revealed some controversial family intel, including claims that Robert Kardashian believed O.J. Simpson was guilty and that ex-wife Kris Jenner knew about Caitlyn's gender identity. It wasn't long before mounting tensions erupted into an all-out family feud. 

Kris Jenner, who was essentially bashed throughout the book, publicly accused her ex of lying, and Kim Kardashian came to her mom's defense, calling Caitlyn a "liar" and "not a good person."

"It's been a little bit tough over the last couple of years on the Kardashian side. To be honest, I don't talk to them anymore," Caitlyn said during an appearance at the Cambridge Union in 2017. "They don't want me in their lives, they bashed me pretty badly. It's devastating when your kids do that. It really hurt."

Her charity work caused controversy

After transitioning, Caitlyn Jenner became devoted to using her newfound platform to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues. She partnered with MAC Cosmetics in 2016 to help raise $1.3 million for the MAC AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative through her Finally Free lipstick line.

"I've learned that I am the exception to the rule; I certainly am not the rule," she told the company (via the New York Daily News). "The horror stories I've heard of homelessness, and of what we call 'survival crimes' by trans people just to survive — it's shocking to see how tough it really is out there for most of the community. So, it's been eye-opening. I realize that I'm in a position where I can help people who are really struggling by creating a platform and bringing exposure to the issue."

The following January, Jenner announced that she and MAC would collaborate on an entire line of products. However, when it became known that none of the profits from her second cosmetics line would be donated, she received harsh criticism from members of the trans community. As Dee Culp, a trans woman, said at the time, "If they want to target this line on the trans community and ask us to spend our money, she should definitely split the [profits for] donations."

She was a no-show on KUWTK

Following I Am Cait's unceremonious cancellation, Caitlyn Jenner occasionally turned up on Keeping up with the Kardashians, but she eventually stopped appearing on the series in 2017. That's not to say her eventual absence was surprising. 

As her relationship with the Kardashians became more strained, even ex-wife Kris seemed to lose track of Caitlyn. "I don't think [she'll appear]. You might see [her] in maybe Episode 1. I'm just not sure ... I can't remember," she told Variety in September of that year, before adding with a laugh, "I can't remember what happened yesterday!"

Around that time, Caitlyn was noticeably missing when the Kardashian-Jenner clan recreated KUWTK's Season 1 opening credits sequence for its 10-year anniversary special. Soon after, the former Olympian's rep finally confirmed to the Insider that she would not be returning to the small screen for the show's 14th season.

Her private life became tabloid fodder

Caitlyn Jenner has been a fixture in the press for years, but after transitioning, the tabloid fodder grew so invasive that, despite sharing her life on the small screen, the reality star grew increasingly private. Even during interviews, she maintained that dating wasn't a priority and understandably refused to answer insensitive questions about her transition.

"Life is very busy," Jenner told Piers Morgan in January 2018 (via The Sun). "I've had three marriages, ten children, I've got twelve or thirteen grandchildren ... so I don't think I ever would [pursue a relationship], no. I don't see it in my future." The interview took a turn when Morgan made a "joke" about Jenner's gender-affirming surgery, asking, "Tell me if I'm going too far, but do you have sex now?" 

"You're going too far, and it's none of your business," the former Olympian shot back."...It's a very serious part of my life. It's not something that you joke about. This is serious stuff. People die over these issues." Preach, Caitlyn.

Family is her top priority

Despite her ongoing feud with the Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner says her family always comes first. "My life revolves around my kids," she told ABC News in 2016. "And they'll be in my life until the day I die." 

While the reality star's family has largely been supportive during her transition, evolving from Bruce to Caitlyn did complicate things. Caitlyn has admitted that the transition was difficult for some of her kids, who have since grown distant. "I have to admit, I'll sit here and wonder, 'Is it because of my transitioning? Or is it because their life is so busy that they don't call, like, all the time?'" 

However, the reality star has continued to bond with the Jenner side of her family. Days after daughter Kylie welcomed her daughter, Stormi, with boyfriend Travis Scott in February 2018, Jenner took to Instagram to gush over her new grandchild. "My daughter just had a daughter. It's amazing to be by your side through this journey," she wrote, captioning a throwback photo of Kylie as a baby. "She's SO beautiful already. Can't wait to watch her grow."

How she's turning it around

Caitlyn Jenner's popularity may have lost some of its steam since she transitioned in 2015, but she's never been one to be kept down. Despite her controversial position within the LGBTQ community, the former Olympian is still revered as an icon for LGBTQ rights around the world. In March 2018, her activism was recognized by the World Value Network, which honored her as a Champion of Israel and LGBTQ Rights.

Prior to winning this award, Jenner told radio host John Catsimatidis that she was looking into "the political side of activism," hinting at a future senatorial run (via CNN). "Can I do a better job from the outside? Kind of working the perimeter of the political scene, being open to talking to anybody?" the lifelong Republican said. "Or are you better from the inside, and we are in the process of determining that."

At the time of this writing, she's keeping her next career move under wraps, but with this mix of potential projects lined up, we can't wait to see what she does next!