Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The One Where I Address the Caitlyn Jenner Issue

I've been really trying to give this some serious thought before I put pen to paper, so to speak.  This issue is stuck in my craw, and I've been using this time to formulate my thoughts into cohesive, sense making sentences.  Hopefully I'll do this topic justice.

For those of you who are currently residing  under a rock and missed the hullabaloo, the shortened version...
So Bruce Jenner, former athletic powerhouse and reality "star", has recently gone public about his gender transformation.  He is now she, Bruce is now Caitlyn.  There has been some facial surgery and breast augmentation done.  There was a prominent photo shoot done by one Annie Leibovitz (lucky!!!) for Vanity Fair magazine, that seemed to really start all the hoopla.  Then there is the matter of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  People are upset by the fact that Caitlyn Jenner has won this award for courage.  They felt other "more deserving" athletes were picked over in favor of this "publicity seeking" reality star.

Here's my two cents on the matter...

In regards to the Bruce/Caitlyn topic on the whole:  who the fuck cares.

In regards to Bruce now wanting to be known as Caitlyn:  who the fuck cares.

In regards to it being a publicity stunt:  who the fuck cares.

In regards to the Arthur Ashe Courage Award:  I have a few thoughts on this matter.

First off allow me to define courage for everyone.  Courage:
the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Does Caitlyn Jenner exude courage???  In short, yes.  Here is a person who has largely been known as a male athlete.  In my time we've come a long way towards acceptance.  But we have a VERY long way to go, still.  That which makes us different is still less accepted than the socially approved norms (though just who exactly dictates what normal is, I don't know).  Being in the public eye and being different can't be much fun.  So, here's Bruce Jenner, and he knows he's not a he.  Your options are continue being he and be miserable but accepted.  Be Caitlyn at home, when nobody is looking, and likely be miserable, still.  Or publicly be Caitlyn, who you believe yourself to truly be, and open yourself up to ridicule and scrutiny and hate.  And likely be miserable.  But, at least you get to be yourself.  Me, I'd probably hide who I am for fear of rejection.  I don't feel I'd be courageous enough to publicly renounce the man I was born as, and embrace the woman I want/know myself to be.  No matter what your opinion on the person/the act, you have to agree that it was in fact an act of courage. 

I've been deeply saddened by the backlash from this story.  Caitlyn's story, transition, and winning the Arthur Ashe award doesn't take anything away from anyone else.   You and I are still who we were before this all started.  Veteran Noah Galloway is still a remarkable human being, even though he didn't receive the award.  I'm sure he'll still get up and go for a run today, anyway.  I'm sure he'll still keep rocking in the athletic world, despite not having the title of Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient.  The world just keeps on going, like that.  I'm sure Noah Galloway would be the first one to tell you not to feel sorry for him, as he seems to not need your pity.  I'm fairly certain he's still courageous without the award.  

If it makes you feel any better at all, they didn't ask me who I felt should receive the award, either.  

Personally, I feel anyone who gets up off their ass and does something to better themselves should get an award for courage.  My heaviest weight is 290.  I've managed to knock off about 50 pounds.  So far.  It's not easy.  I constantly have to struggle to move more.  I've hauled my fat ass up the Manitou Springs Incline.  Twice.  Tell me that didn't take some courage!  We need to take the time to recognize that all of us are capable of courageous acts, they just come in different forms of courage.

I am constantly reminding my kids that they can't change the world, they can only change themselves.  I'm beginning to feel like I'm doing them a great disservice in telling them this.  Normally I like to tell them this little nugget of wisdom when I want them to stop trying to control what another sibling has done/is doing.  My point to them is that they need to stop worrying about what others are doing, because we can't change others.  We have no control over what another person does, says, thinks.  The only one we can exert that kind of control over, is ourselves.
But, here is Caitlyn Jenner.  She might not be out to change the world, but she is.  She's helping pave the way for others, intentionally or not.

What truly saddens me about the world we currently live in, is that it costs nothing to be accepting of others.  Your religion tells you that being gay is "wrong"???  That's awesome, I'm glad you found a religion that allows you to follow your beliefs and makes you happy.  Doesn't your religion teach you about acceptance???  That whole "love they neighbor" thing kind of applies here.  You don't have to be gay to accept another as being gay.  It's not contagious, you won't catch the gay by being accepting.  Your personal beliefs don't allow for tattoos???  Hey, I'm not even mad at that.  My response: don't get one.  Me, I love my tattoos and plan to get more.  Your upbringing keeps you from partaking in alcohol or smoking weed???  Great, it's not for everyone.  I don't drink, either, but mostly because I'm allergic to my beloved beer.  But, I won't hold it against you if you choose to partake.
To each his own.

Why can't we live in a world where we just accept each other, as is?????  I don't mind being a woman, so I think I'll stay one.  I love my gay daughter, don't mind if she continues to be gay.  I love my friends who drink and smoke, don't much mind if they continue living their lives as they see fit.  

We are ALL different.  Instead of picking on those who are more different than most, why the fuck not just embrace what is and love them, anyway?  Who cares if Bruce is more comfortable as Caitlyn?  

Live, and let live.  Period. 

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