I think it's a bit of both, though unfortunately I think it's more sold as distraction and that's why we're seeing more of it. On the one hand, it is arguably pretty progressive to just not give a fuck about gender, be that cis or trans or whatever, and to rather regard all humans as human, and more people seem to represent that notion that they did ten or twenty years ago, arguably due to media coverage. However, on the other more cynical hand we have the media who, whenever possible, will stir up innocuous shit to get eyes and clicks on their articles. Caitlyn Jenner is the perfect example of this. Her transition from something of a masculine role model to a more-than-passing trans lady is something that 1. older folks, at least in America, wanted to pay attention to because they remembered Bruce so fondly, 2. she was willing to be exceptionally public about transitioning, 3. she actually looks pretty good now, and 4. she was out there getting as much spotlight as humanly possible to drum-up buzz for some shitty show she was doing with the kardashians or something.
This is somewhat offset by two things. Firstly, most people in the trans community, from my experience, view her as a pretty shitty representative of trans people. She's republican, a group not known for its acceptance of trans folks, she's already rich -while most trans people are stuck in poverty, and she really did try to be the spokesperson for trans people without their support. I don't think that's so much the case anymore but it certainly was when she came out.
This is the kind of trans that the media wants to talk about. Sexy, open, on screen all the time, rich as fuck, never having to really worry about her physical or emotional well-being. It is in a way the kind of post-acceptance view of trans people that I think humanity would be well served by adopting for all trans people, but that's just the thing, Caitlyn isn't most trans people, she's the .1 percent of trans people. She doesn't represent the day-to-day shit that goes with being trans, but that's not what the media wants to show people.
In that sense, I don't know if I can call this truly progressive in its cause and support. Those factors are incidental, the come with more media exposure, more people thinking about what it would be like if they were trans or their family members came out as trans, but they aren't what is being sold, this isn't what is getting clicks and ad revenue - what is being sold to people in most news articles about trans people is the luxury of having capital and resources to deal with being trans, and in that sense this is just another aspect of the commodification of everything in capitalism.