My Brief Thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner...
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Let me first start by saying that I am an extremely open-minded person. I honestly believe in the philosophies of "live and let live," and "live your own truth." In my life, I have been blessed to have formed meaningful relationships with individuals of different races, sexes, creeds, national origins, sexual orientations, religions, and lifestyles. While these individuals have played different roles in my life, two things remain the same about each of them: (1) not one of them is exactly like me, and (2) their individual differences and uniqueness have enriched my understanding and acceptance of that which is not exactly like me. In other words, all of these folks are individuals living their own lives however they choose, and I am still able to be a friend, celebrate in their accomplishments, and mourn in their sorrows. I am an equal-opportunity friend/acquaintance. My evaluation as to whether I choose to acquaint myself with an individual starts with a question of whether or not you are a good person...not whether your race, sex, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religious belief, and/or lifestyle is just like mine.
Now that I've shared my position on people, I want to briefly (well...as briefly as possible) give my thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner. For those of you who are not aware, Bruce Jenner has recently been in the public eye expressing that for all intents and purposes, he is woman. Millions of viewers watched Bruce's interview with Diane Sawyer where he bravely shared his life-long, internal battle being a transgender. At the age of 65, he decided to live his truth. Yesterday, Caitlyn Jenner made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair and to the general public. If you were anywhere near a television or a social media site, you saw the pictures from Caitlyn's photoshoot. Unfortunately, you also saw all of the backlash that resulted from the images. Now, I will not waste time or this space rehashing some of the ignorant comments that were free-floating across the Internet...many of them were in poor taste. Instead, I'll briefly share my thoughts...
First, congratulations to Caitlyn for being brave enough to live her truth. Many of us are too afraid to be honest, and Caitlyn should be proud of her choice to move forward in a world full of judgment and uncertainty. Second, Caitlyn absolutely and positively SLAYED in her photoshoot! I'll be the first to admit that I did not know what to expect when Caitlyn made her debut, but I was pleasantly surprised. She looks amazing! Third, I was born a woman, and I feel like a woman every day. As such, I cannot personally speak to how Caitlyn has felt over the past 65 years. My inability to personally relate to or understand Caitlyn's feelings and her choices does not mean I that I cannot be supportive and compassionate. Man or woman, Caitlyn is a human, and so long as she is not doing something that is hurtful to others, I'm not judging! Honestly, there are a lot of people in this world who do evil-spirited things. I choose to dislike and judge those folks...not Caitlyn.
And finally, for those individuals who are so afraid of the message that the acceptance of Caitlyn sends to our children (an argument I heard a lot yesterday), please allow me to list 10 socially-acceptable things that are way more damaging than Caitlyn could ever be: (1) Mediocre School Systems, (2) Waist Trainers, (3) Incompetence, (4) High Fructose Corn Syrup, (5) Fast Food, (6) "Celebrity" Sex Tapes, (7) Love & Hip-Hop (any of them!), (8) Ignorance, (9) Skinny Tea, and (10) Butt Injections. I'm sure there are others!
To Caitlyn: Congratulations! You should be proud of your courageousness. My hope is that the world extends to you the gift of tolerance and acceptance. Good luck on your future endeavors!
To members of the public: I completely understand being skeptical, unsure, and judgmental about things in which you do not understand or agree, but there are appropriate ways to express your opinions, thoughts, feelings, and frustrations without being mean and hurtful.