Annie Leibovitz Photographs Caitlyn Jenner for the July Cover of Vanity Fair

In his physical prime, Bruce Jenner and his Olympic success made him a household name. With the start of his step-daughters' show, "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," Jenner's name became familiar to a much younger audience. Today, however, we can begin our goodbyes to the Olympic legend and welcome Caitlyn Jenner, who will be introduced to the world within Vanity Fair's coming issue (due June 9) with the front cover tagline, "Call me Caitlyn."

The accompanying story (including additional Leibovitz portraits) written by "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger documents how Caitlyn became the woman she is today. Discussing the torment of her past and her relationships with her family, the new interview dives deeper than Diane Sawyer's introductory television interview of Bruce Jenner as the world finally meets the true person.

What could be considered her most socially and publicly important shoot since the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Rolling Stone cover, the Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover sparks a new highlight in Leibovitz' already-superb career; and yet, she was and is perhaps the most fitting for the job, given the subject's importance in the wake of today's necessary social justice.

Along with the story, the additional photos are available today through early access for those who subscribe Vanity Fair's digital edition on iOS devices.

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50 Comments

Anonymous's picture

No

Anonymous's picture

Can't unsee

Adam Ottke's picture

Well I didn't expect that to be the first comment... I guess we have a ways to go until society catches up...

Hans Rosemond's picture

you're surprised?

Adam, you are correct. But excluding the first comment, I'm thrilled to see this here and wish Caitlyn all the best wishes she deserves. A beautiful photo from Annie Leibovitz indeed.

Anonymous's picture

I could write all day about it. I have friends and family that are as diverse as it gets and I truly love all of them. I've worked with transgendered on set and have been able to see the behind the scenes attitudes of both cast and crew. I know there are a handful of DPs on here that have seen the same things I have.

What I don't agree with is the sensationalizing of what this poor man is going through. Some of these people are being literally PUSHED into a lifestyle they may not necessarily feel comfortable with in order to remain relevant in the reality TV circle. I've seen enough overzealous producers push these people in order to make ratings. It's stupid.

I appreciate your response, Mike, thank you. As someone in the media world who has done TV, I'm definitely not going to disagree with you about that world at all. It's crazy and you're right.

But saying "can't unsee" and "this poor man" just smacks of disrespect, judgment and transphobia, She is a woman, and words matter. I'm not trying to be all pollyanna, I just had to speak up as a gay man, a photographer, and a person who cares for his transgender friends and family.

Anonymous's picture

Fair enough. I apologize for being disrespectful to you and in general. I have met men who are completely straight men that have been pushed to be "transgender". Guess what, they went along with it.

Adam Ottke's picture

Call me naive, but I also don't think Caitlyn was pushed to "get here." I think she's been wanting to do this for a long time and is simply using her position to launch herself into the spotlight so she can set an example. She's using her position to do something and to show the world something that she really believes in and that she wants to help the world understand.

Sure, there's a TON of money surrounding the story. She's probably making a ton, producers are making a ton, etc... But that's what it takes to make this into the media sensation that it probably needs to be in order to begin to change the world. I think everyone realizes that.

Are producers absolutely thrilled that this is all being rolled out like an extremely well controlled product release? Of course. But I don't think that's at all without Caitlyn's full and uncoerced cooperation. She's making the sacrifice of any and all privacy completely willingly....

Michael Comeau's picture

I like the subtle reference to Irving Penn's corner portraits with the angled background.

Martin Francis's picture

Say what you like about Annie, she's always been a great example of what you can do with one really big, soft light.

Is it not PC to say I don't like the photograph, regardless of the subject? I mean, good for her have made this transition so public and to be featured on Vanity Fair. But I'm really not in love with the actual photograph.

Adam Ottke's picture

You can think whatever you want of the photograph! No problem. That was a great way to voice your opinion. I think most people are simply enamored with Caitlyn in general. But Vanity Fair's uber-simplistic cover style won't win points with a lot of people. It is, however, very "to-the-point" -- something art directors LOVE when it comes to news stories, etc...

I just wanted a little retouching on the arms if nothing else. It's the angle and pose that are making her arms look older than the rest of her body and would have happened with most people regardless of age. Given the amount of time it looks like the retoucher worked on her hair, I don't know why they ignored her arms, especially her right arm. I like the background material that was used, whatever it is.

Tlamati Xochipilli's picture

Everything else aside, no joke, I thought when I heard the name "Caitlyn", for sure it was spelled with a "K".

Leibovitz still a great photographer.

That's all I got.

I thought about how to respond to this and finally I just came to the conclusion that willful ignorance can only really be cured from within. I can only really encourage you to educate yourself on the issues of the transgendered and then perhaps some of us won't wince when you pronounce on the subject.

No, it's not rocket science, but it is science and SHE is getting therapy or SHE wouldn't be in transition because there is most definitely a difference between sex and gender and transition is actually a possible therapy. In any event, there's a lot more to genetics than XX and XY and the real world isn't so black and white as you'd have us believe.

However, even if there was no "Keeping up with the Kardashians" reality show, it is absolutely certain that the media would be all over her transition because we're talking about an Olympic gold medalist here. There was never a hope that Jenner was going to be able to do this privately and you would be utterly naive to suggest otherwise. So, given that, what's she to do? May as well get ahead of that tidal wave and put herself out there in a manner she controls because it's going to be happening regardless. That's just being smart.

It doesn't matter though, because for all of the gains of the LGBT community over the last decades, it's pretty clear to me that there will always be those waiting in the wings to cast their judgement and spit upon them. You're one of them, that much is obvious.

Sarah Williams's picture

She went through therapy. That's how she got to this point. Stay educated. "Surgeons require two letters of recommendation for sex reassignment surgery. At least one of these letters must be from a mental health professional experienced in diagnosing gender identity disorder, that has known the patient for over a year. Letters must state that sex reassignment surgery is the correct course of treatment for the patient."

Austin Rogers's picture

No thank you please, Jen. Also, I'm sure Caitlyn would prefer you call her *she*.

michael buehrle's picture

i could care less if bruce wants to be a girl. why is it Vanity Fair cover worthy ? that dude has turned into a train wreck. i smell another awful reality show in the works.

I'm going to carefully agree. His athletic achievements were noteworthy, and deserved coverage. But Vanity Fair is hardly a credible news outlet, so this is probably a good fit. It's not something I would read, so I can remain blissfully unaware of what is a trivial matter, compared to environmental issues, cancer, AIDS, starving Africans, and displaced Nepalese.

Adam Ottke's picture

I will carefully and respectfully disagree :-). It's Vanity Fair cover-worthy because of how big the story is (very plainly put, you have the world's celebrity masculinity hero announcing his transition into a heroine for the transgendered, including herself...that's going to get some cover action, period). We can complain all day about starvation, AIDS, and cancer, but social issues are still very prevalent issues nonetheless. And they can certainly be and very much are life and death issues just the same as cruel people drive some lost kids and adults to suicide every year. If we can be more accepting and understanding, we can save those lives, too. The world will be a better place for it...and Caitlyn is helping that move forward at a much more rapid rate thanks to her courage as she sacrifices virtually all privacy.

It's cover worthy because it's a very talked about current event. Bruce was an olympic champ and frankly a hot, masculine guy back in his day. The transition is shocking. Face it, there are gay dudes that would not surprise us if they wanted to transition to women. Bruce Jenner was NOT one of them.

Sigh... And thus the bigots crawl out of the ooze to once again spit upon those that offer them no harm.

If you don't want to called a bigot, stop expressing bigotry. It's that simple. Why should someone's decision about doing something to make themselves happy which affects or harms no one else warrant your bigoted pejorative commentary?

Who are you to say he is being a bigot because he disagrees? It's amazing how we are allowing a new crop of bigots to exist without confronting them. You are part of the new bigotry crop that accuses persons because they might disagree with your point of view. What ever happened to freedom of expression?

Steve Minster, who is denying his freedom of expression? He is free to speak his mind. That also means that if a person expresses bigotry, that person will get called out on his bigotry. Practice what you preach. If a person can't accept the fact of someone's sexuality -- can't simply live and let live -- and because of their own inability to accept it has to call it a form of mental illness, then that person is a bigot. He's fee to say whatever he wants. No one is preventing him. I'm just calling him what he is....a bigot.

What do you think you have to agree to? You're agreement, or lack thereof, makes not a whit of difference, I'm sure, to the doctor treating her, One, I might add, who is clearly going to be infinitely more qualified to handle the issue and apply appropriate treatment than you are. However, the choice to attack with anger and insults is a sign of bigotry when, after all, the person has offered you no personal harm.

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