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Thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner

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People have asked for my opinion about Caitlyn Jenner, and the Vanity Fair magazine, and all that stuff.

First off, I am I am happy she can finally be herself.

Secondly, I think she is beautiful on the cover of Vanity Fair.

Ultimately though, I don't care and have no opinion. I didn't know who Bruce was before. The first time I heard that name, it was when they got into a car accident in Jan/15. That fact that Bruce won a gold medal or that he is associated with the Kardashians was something I just didn't know.

I suppose if I had any other opinions, I don't think her journey reflects the average transition. She has money and can use it to pay for any surgery she wants without waiting for funding or saving up for it. However, the media doesn't care about that and tabloids are some people's only source for information. I think most cis people wouldn't do their research about transitioning to see what the true struggle is.

Exposure isn't necessarily a bad thing, even if it's not completely accurate information because it at least gets people talking, and conversation opens minds to people who are not exposed to the topic at hand. Of course I would prefer it if accurate trans representation was more in the public view.


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Posted (edited)

I must agree, any good - no non negative press regarding transgender has to be good, let's face it, the sheep like masses out there, always seem to look up to the rich & famous, so it helps to normalise the whole spectrum of Trans isssues. Think Elton John & being openly gay is such a similar parallel. 

Here in the UK we were only aware of Bruce Jenner when she had all that nasty invasive press coverage, It's refreshing to see the balance of coverage start to go in the other direction, and of course I'm glad that her life is seemingly turning out to be better.

Cheers,

Eve

Edited by eveannessant
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I guess that's sort of the double-edged sword of celebrity exposure.  Anything that brings awareness to the general public is good, but the rich and famous live in such a different world than the rest of us that their experiences will not realistically reflect most peoples'.

The CBC actually ran an article a couple days ago on that exact topic:

Caitlyn Jenner's transition doesn't represent most transgender experiences

Although we also shouldn't lose sight of the fact that Caitlyn felt the same pain we're all familiar with.

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It is interesting how perspectives vary on this. My thought was that Caitlyn probably suffered even more than me for a number of reasons. 

1. She is older. She grew up before there was the Internet or much reliable information about transgender issues. I remember believing I was the "only one" in the world who felt this way. Caitlyn came up at a time when there was even less information and much less tolerance. 

2. She became famous. Bruce Jenner was an American icon and was a hero to many. Bruce received endorsements such as Wheaties and became instantly recognizable in virtually every household in America. I can relate from being fairly well known in my home town and how scary it is that your "secret" might get out. Remember this was in an era when most of America was very intolerant. 

3. Caitlyn probably realized she could never just disappear and then reappear as her female self. At the time of my transition (over 20 years ago) that is exactly what I did. I disappeared and reemerged as a female. Fortunately for me I passed pretty near flawlessly so I pretty much just got on with my life. Caitlyn probably didn't have that opportunity with Paparazzi hounding her. 

I believe Caitlyn's coming out will signal a turning point in how America views and treats transgender people. Or course there will still be ignorance and bigotry, but Caitlyn has people talking. Now, everybody knows somebody who is transgender -- or at least they feel like they do. I have never seen the outpouring of support that I am for Caitlyn. I do believe we're at a cross roads. Let's hope this will be the shift we've been hoping for. 

Edited by Lori
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In short, the precipice for the most part has passed where as Lori said there is still ignorance and bigotry that remains and will stay with those of the third gender for some time to come. Thinking about Caitlyn's journey, we must look passed what is injected by the new media and realize there will be both good and bad things that surface as time goes by. Right now I hear a lot of chatter on the Vanity Fair publishing where the key word is PhotoShop which can be detrimental or not, only time will tell. Either way I wish her the best. 

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Compare and contrast with Chaz Bono, Janet Mock.

Seems to me that Chaz was also a celebrity but that focus on him was less and of shorter duration. Janet is known as an activist, qualifying as a spokesperson whose opinions and knowledge have helped keep the "conversation" on-topic. Laverne Cox is celebrated for her beauty and acting on OITNB. What happens when the program ends?

Transwomen have shocked American, and possibly all western, cultures for many decades, from Christine Jorgensen to Chelsea Manning, igniting the "flames of hell" with each celebrity outing. I'm sure there were others before Ms. Jorgensen but am not familiar with that part of history. We'll progress more quickly when we no longer shock them.

Crossing my fingers.

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