Entertainment & Arts

How Caitlyn Jenner chose her name -- and why it’s not with a K

Caitlyn Jenner on Vanity Fair

A photo editor views the July cover of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner.


(Frazer Harrison, Getty Images)

Caitlyn Jenner had the rare opportunity to choose her own name when she made her debut as a transgender woman on Monday.

The Olympic gold medalist, previously known as Bruce Jenner, had referred to her new identity only as “her” when she came out during her highly rated Diane Sawyer interview in April. The 65-year-old had already completed her transition by the time the sit-down aired, but “her” publicly became Caitlyn on Monday when she graced the July cover of Vanity Fair.

#CallMeCaitlyn heralded the arrival of the new Jenner on Twitter.

Soon after the reveal, several wondered why she didn’t spell her name with a K, an established practice of the women in reality TV’s first family. (See: Kris Jenner, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kendall and Kylie Jenner.)


“She made a list of names, had a close friend make a list of names. Caitlyn was on both and, folks, it’s Caitlyn with a C,” writer Buzz Bissinger, who penned Jenner’s 22-page profile for Vanity Fair, told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.

The search began more than two years ago and was “one of the hardest things in life,” Jenner told

Jenner, who had already been a phenom in her own right as a track athlete before her association with the Kardashians, watched the Miss America pageant to brainstorm her new designation and also considered the names Heather and Cathy. Still, Caitlyn remained a front-runner. When her assistant Rhonda also suggested Caitlyn, Jenner made up her mind.

She went “back and forth” about the spelling, said, but ultimately decided on Caitlyn with a C rather than a K because it was “best to break tradition, and the media associations that went with it.”


Those media associations are those made famous -- and infamous -- by the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians” juggernaut and Jenner’s ex-wife and stepchildren, and their firm placement in the pop culture zeitgeist.

Insiders revealed to that Caitlyn’s spelling decision was meant to help her become her own person and prevented her from being lumped in with the rest of the Kardashian brand.


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Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair reveal rallies family support

Caitlyn Jenner’s courage is bold, Annie Leibovitz’s portrait cliched

Fashion critic Booth Moore: For Caitlyn Jenner, an old-school vision of beauty

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.


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