It takes courage to face the world as a woman, particularly when you’re a huge media personality. Imagine living your life as a successful male athlete who has won Olympic medals but is trapped in the body of a woman. How would you like to live a lie, a lie that is told for the sake of your fans and your family, too ashamed to tell the world the truth? Fast forward several decades and Bruce had mustered the courage to come out as Caitlyn at 65 years of age. Why now? Some people had said that it was a stunt to garner publicity and to promote the Kardashian Empire whereas others had applauded her bravery in the face of adversity. So where do I stand? As a firm believer in equal rights I will champion her transition every step of the way, no matter what negative comments she receives. We are all entitled to our opinion but to slander a woman who has been through so much and struggled to become the woman she is today is unfair and bigoted. I look forward to a time where Caitlyn will not be exploited by media outlets for the purpose of financial gratification but will be upheld as a role model, as living proof that no matter how old you are it is never too late to be the real you . I am a great admirer of the so called ‘other’ who is often marginalized because they are different. Well not any more… Caitlyn is using her role as media personality to highlight the everyday degradation, the prejudice and the negativity that Trans will often face and that is an attitude that will push me to champion social justice. Like Caitlyn I believe that age has no determining factor and that there is never a cut-off point to fulfil your ambitions and dreams. I feel that we should all adopt Caitlyn’s positive attitude and learn to embrace those who do not conform to the so called social norm. What I like about Caitlyn Jenner is that she bridges the gap between being feminine and masculine, challenging biologically determined roles. In Caitlyn’s world it is acceptable to embrace the masculine and feminine traits that are within us all, from participating in sports that are ‘typically’ masculine i.e. golf to painting your nails which is typically stereotyped as a feminine activity, Caitlyn will take part in both.
Although Caitlyn’s interview with Diane Sawyer was heralded by many as courageous some celebrities were less accepting. When Drake Bell tweeted on his official twitter page that he was ‘still calling (Caitlyn) Bruce’ he faced backlash from fans that branded him ‘transphobic’ and some questioned Bell’s cultural relevance ‘remember when Drake Bell was relevant when we were 12?’.
In response Drake deleted his tweet and defended himself by stating that he doesn’t want ‘to forget his legacy!’ Bell’s weak attempt to apologize for his transphobic actions is unacceptable and highlights the prejudice that the LGBT community faces daily. With an increasing rate of suicides in the LGBT community it is comments like these that have a negative impact on the younger generation and drive them to end their lives. With Caitlyn’s stride towards enlightenment, we too can help other’s realize their dreams, even if the dreams do not resonate with what is considered ‘normal’. Like Caitlyn we should challenge biological determinism and question why our society rejects ‘biological anomalies ‘but accepts violence, war and bloodshed.