The stats say that only 9% of the population actually KNOWS someone transgender personally. No wonder so many folks have been anticipating Bruce Jenner’s revelation that she is now Caitlyn. So many of us that DO have a transgender individual close to us have been holding our collective breaths, hoping that her coming out would be met with decency. Today was the day- and I give Caitlyn credit for her demonstration of tremendous courage!
I will admit that my first reaction to seeing her Vanity Fair cover was disappointment…I hadn’t wanted the first picture to conjure up “Bruce in drag”. But after a moment of taking in the Annie Lebowitz photography- I mean, THIS is exactly what Lebowitz does cover after cover- Hollywood Glam- I altered my thinking. Perhaps I was being too sensitive. Then, I had to laugh: at 65, Caitlyn looks WAY better this 59 year-old gal- and I was downright delighted for her!
There are positives to be gained by this individual’s choosing such a formidable public change: so many older folks know, love and respected Bruce. This transformation feels like it is happening to someone the public actually KNOWS personally. The former Bruce was as “masculine” as anyone in the entire world…and what greater proof that all that persona provided- wealth, fame, respect…meant nothing and did not bring contentment. Authenticity is all that really matters.
And while we are thrilled that Caitlyn will live her truth, we must remember: she looks amazing after paying for surgeries that VERY FEW can afford. She doesn’t have to worry about gainful employment the way in which our transgender daughters and sons struggle with daily. Safety? She can hire a team of bodyguards- not so lucky are our brutalized children. Yes, she probably will not worry again consider suicide…unfortunately, as we watch Caitlyn successfully transition with respect and dignity, our children, who are without privilege, are denied the same experience.
While we celebrate Cailtyn’s new life, let’s please remember what our children have to face and step up next to them with love and support!