The Caitlyn Jenner Story is Not About Caitlyn Jenner: My Message to the Transgender Community
Caitlyn Jenner has enough money to hole herself in her Malibu mansion for the rest of her life if she wants...security to lead her in and out of the fanciest restaurants and most expensive boutiques. However, the majority of trans people are out there right now, in your community, trying to lead normal lives free of ridicule. Did I think it was courageous for Jenner to go through this entire process in the media? Yes I do. Courage comes in many forms. Yes, courage is fighting for your country, sacrificing your life for the betterment of our nation. Yes, courage is standing up to cancer, fighting it head-on with an optimistic spirit. And yes, courage is spilling your guts out on national TV with a goal of changing the social climate in regards to how the trans community is viewed.
Have you ever held a secret inside for over six decades, eating at you, eating at the very core of who you are as a person? I have not, but I can imagine the toll it might take. As Caitlyn mentioned, she did consider suicide. For those of you calling her a "freakshow" and "disgusting", would it make your life better if Caitlyn were not on this earth? Would you be pleased with yourself?
I understand where people are coming from, thinking that for some reason this is all for publicity, for some show, or ratings. Any association with the Kardashian family will automatically paint you in that light. But this situation goes deeper. It's because of that spotlight that Caitlyn can reach so many people feeling hurt, alienated, and suicidal.
How can you, as a person, know someone went through 65 years of their life having to hide their true self, and be disgusted when they finally say enough is enough and live for themselves instead of what they think the world wants them to be? How can you not have a shred of empathy, and be happy for someone who is finally finding their own happiness and self-worth?
I knew the statistics were bad, but I had no idea how bad. As Caitlyn mentioned in her speech, 41% percent of trans people attempt suicide. Forty. One. Percent. Bullying is a central theme throughout most of the stories of LBGT youth taking their lives. Things need to change.
I understand we all have different opinions, and that's what makes the world go 'round. What a boring world it would be if we all agreed on everything, never had constructive debates that helped us grow. But when it comes to matters of hatred and discrimination, it's just too hard for me to not stand up, and add my opinion into the current heap.
So, Caitlyn ...you might take heat now as you mentioned in your speech, and there's a good chance you will be ridiculed for the rest of your life. But little by little, those who come after you will receive less and less abuse, becoming a more accepted part of society, and hopefully even celebrated. Whether people like you or not, you used your platform as a celebrity to make yourself completely vulnerable to the world. If your speech helped just one trans person from taking their life, it was all worth it. And if I ever have children, I will not shield them from the transgender community. I will teach them to love, embrace, and cherish the differences in people of this world. But above all, I will instill in them how important it is to wish happiness and a sense of inclusion onto others.
I guess the whole point of this post is to say that whoever you are, if you're a good person and wish no harm on to others, then you should be accepted and respected for who you are, no matter which gender you identify with or how you choose to express yourself. You are loved. You are beautiful. Be yourself.