So Caitlyn Jenner finally came out. Ok, yeah, she technically came out a few weeks ago, but until the last few days, she hadn’t revealed a name or a pronoun preference. Now she has. As a result, a lot of people are calling her a hero, applauding her bravery. Melissa commented that it must feel nice to have such a big name “on our side”. So now Caitlyn Jenner is the face of transgender people everywhere.
Caitlyn Jenner didn’t open any doors for the trans community. What she did was open the blinds of one house in the trans community. She is one woman with one experience and we come from a myriad of backgrounds. I support Caitlyn. I’m happy that she’s happy. I believe everyone deserves his or her chance to be happy and to be true to themselves. But I don’t believe that Caitlyn has or is going to bring our community the “role model” that we need. She’s a part of one of the most ridiculed families in Hollywood – a practical circus act to the Average Joe – from a family that’s been long-criticized for constantly seeking the spotlight. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Caitlyn is attention-mongering. I truly do think that she’s finally being true to herself, but I can’t imagine she’s not reveling in the attention at least a little.
Thus far, she has not used her power to advocate for a cause, to be the voice of silent transguys and girls everywhere. And she doesn’t have to…but when you make your big coming out on a televised interview and then again on the cover of Vanity Fair, one begins to question the intentions of the actions.
So now, the bigoted mainstream equates trans people with the never-ending drama of the Kardashian clan. Not with the Average Joe. So along with all the support I’ve seen for her, I’ve seen a lot of hate. Hate that might not be so freely flowing had people not hated her when they knew her as Bruce…simply though her association with the Kardashians.
Do you think you’d see “jokes” like this:
had a known and liked celebrity come out? If Anna Kendrick had asked to be called Andrew?
Or digs like this:
had Patrick Dempsy asked to be called Patricia?
The point is these kids that finally have a “role model” in the trans community are seeing this hate, too. And they’re thinking that this hate is towards the trans community as a whole, while others have come out publicly to be a voice for trans people….Laverne Cox, who’s been a vocal trans activist for a long time. Aydian Dowling, who is making waves for transguys out there. Countless others who have stood up and said, with dignity intact, that we are people too.
We don’t need a pretty, self-serving face to be the one we all look up to at the end of the day. We need people to know that we’re just Average Janes and Joes, holding down 9-5 jobs, paying rent or mortgages, raising kids, walking dogs. We’re not Olympians turned reality stars making our big debut on the cover of Vanity Fair. We’re your neighbors, coworkers, classmates and family. I don’t want people looking at Caitlyn Jenner and thinking that I’m transitioning for the attention. What we need is a voice…specifically our own. We need to stop waiting for someone to step up to be our role model or the next generation’s role model and we need to be our own. We need to be the role models for the next generation, to teach them to love openly and live without judgement. No big celebrity coming out is going to change the world, but all of us continuing to live our lives and teach those around us to accept….that’s how we’ll change the world. Because I think the whole world need a few more moms and dads that love their kids no matter what.