A Little Trans Soap Boxing

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:

“hah! Just don’t ask to see HIS dipstick.”

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.

Batgirl_Do it right

Much love,
Ty

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10 thoughts on “A Little Trans Soap Boxing”

  1. I think Caitlyn Jenner is good for the transgender community in that Bruce was such a well known person, a household name. While he has not championed the cause, he did lose his family and was willing to risk all to be the person that he really wanted to be. You have to admire that. Honestly, as difficult as being a transgender person may be, I do not think anyone would embark on such a journey simply for publicity.

    1. See it bothers me that you’re not using her preferred pronouns. She lost her family and she is now the person that she wanted to be. It’s frustrating to the community that someone can very publicly declare their preference and still have them ignored…

      That being said… I don’t think she’s simply after the publicity, but the fact that she’s used such public media for her coming out and hasn’t used that platform to actually help the trans community that both bothers me and raises suspicion.

      1. Per the interview, it was my understanding that it was Jenner’s wish to still use the “he” pronoun. I thought that Jenner was still very much active within the family. In fact, Kim K. stated ” girl, ya gotta rock it.” I guess I do not know the right and the wrong way to go about addressing someone who is transgender. It was my assumption that if you knew someone prior to their coming out, you still refer to that person as he or she as you knew them. I certainly meant no disrespect in using the wrong pronoun.

        Why do we have to define people on the basis of grammar? Why can’t Caitlyn and everyone else simply be a person? Why do when I look at Caitlyn do I have to say..she looks well put together today. Why can’t I just say, what a great look..or that person has a great sense of style? Don’t you think it is the very use of those labels that limit one? Personally, I would rather someone say to me..”I think you are interesting and not..what an interesting woman.”

        I wonder, now that Caitlyn has made her media debut..if her pay scale will also reflect her new female status? In lieu of worrying about pronouns, we should strive for the equality of everyone. I think that everyone has a right to be who they want to be within legal limits. I also believe that we should not objectify anyone.

  2. Reblogged this on regan5 and commented:
    I’m not questioning Caitlyn’s sincerity, but I do believe she is doing nothing but being self serving and attention seeking.

    Big splashy coming outs like hers have a way of failing tragically, I’m not wishing that on her, but I’m still waiting for it to happen anyways.

      1. The original interview did, and at that time she was Bruce. Now she has given us her name and stated “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman”. Now she is she. I agree that equality for everyone should be at the heart of the matter, but part of that equality is honoring people’s wishes to be called by their preferred pronouns. Cis men and women don’t have any opposition to being called by their preferred pronouns, why should we?

      2. I see, my mistake. I think you have a valid point and I get it. I hope that Caitlyn’s transition is not only positive for her, but for the trans community as a whole. She is fairly famous and has potential to raise awareness. One of the things that I thought was interesting was the number of years that Bruce felt as if he should have been born female. The other day, in my attempt to better understand, I read a blog of a woman who had a transgender child. The boy, who is now being raised female, said at age two or three..she should have been born a girl. I was amazed at the concrete realization that she felt that way at such an early age. While others are drinking from sippie cups and playing, this child was facing serious gender issues. Tell me, what do you think of a rainbow curriculum within the schools and how do you think that children should be taught about these issues? Also, if I may ask, how long have you been in transition? I read your blog and was fascinated by it. It is so very honest. I think it takes a tremendous amount of courage to have the ability to not only face such issues, but to tell others about it and change your gender. I admire you.

  3. I said the same thing to someone that its great for a rich person to come out as trans, but what about the transgender youth that are homeless? How does this shed light on what they go through? it’s all lipstick, underwear, and makeup.

    It’s also (to me) reducing “woman” to an object of beauty and sexuality. Look at the cover. She’s in a bustier and boobs overflowing.

    Is this where women have come to? That our “arrival” is half naked on a magazine?

    Being a woman is not all lipstick, nail polish, and other stuff. Gender (to me) is such a construct. I like sports, I don’t like bustiers. I wouldn’t be half naked on the cover of a magazine. Meh.

    btw, I like your blog. This is common sense stuff and thank you for being you. I was losing a lot of faith tonight.

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