Friday, June 5, 2015

My Caitlyn Jenner Post

As a blogger type person on the internet, there are certain topics that I am obligated to cover. It doesn't matter if I had a blog that focused of gardening, knitting or My Little Pony fandom, there are things I must address. Unfortunately, I am particularly obliged to write about certain topics because in my infinite lack of foresight, I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You isn't really dedicated to a certain theme other than whatever I shit I come up with on a daily basis. 

As you can tell from the title of today's post, I will be putting down some of my thoughts about Caitlyn Jenner


Here goes...


Is it all right if I think this is a bit...weird? 

All right, all right, all right! Everybody put down their virtual pitchforks and your real ones too. 

The person we used to know as Bruce Jenner has done a very brave thing, making himself into the woman on the outside that he always felt he was in the inside. Now she is Caitlyn Jenner and in a very real sense she has bared herself to public scrutiny like no one else I can think of. 

Did I get the pronouns correct in the proper context? 

The idea of transgender people is one of those things that has been shoved to the edges of society, something that "polite" people don't want to talk about, something that "decent" relegate under the headings of "perverted" and "drag queens".  

The movement to recognize that transgender is a real thing that people sometimes are has been growing but still underneath the radar of most people. Until Caitlyn Jenner. Now the transgender community has a face and not just any face but the new female face of a well known celebrity. And with that, this is a topic that cannot be pushed to the edges any longer. And that is a good thing. 

But for me, personally, it's still a bit weird. 

Oh shit, there go the pitchforks again. 

The thing is I'm a middle age white male who came of age when women and people of color were making their way to be up in front with the movers and shakers of society; they were no longer going to accept being part of the background scenery and I for one said "Amen" to that. As I observed people around me, I saw that people could be heroes and they could be douche bags, no matter their sex or the color of their skin. Mostly I saw men and women, black and white as people just looking to get by and maybe do a little better for themselves in terms of wealth and peace of mind. 

Homosexuals took a little bit more effort on my part but I admittedly came late to the party when I met my first openly gay people in college. If there were any gays in my small southern town where I grew up, I didn't know about them. Hell, I don't think I really understood the concept of homosexuality until college. What can I say, I lived a very cloistered life as a young person.  

But I wrapped my thoughts around this concept as best I could and came to the realization that gay people are first and foremost people, deserving of the same respect and opportunities enjoyed by all other people. Still, there were lessons to be learned. For example, I was rather unsure about the idea of same sex marriage. All the gay people I knew were single. All the married people I knew were heterosexuals. Or at least that what it said on their name tags. ("Hi, my name is Bob and I'm a heterosexual.")  

But once more when the though process comes around that gays and lesbians are first and foremost people, then how can a just and equitable society give rights to some people and take them away from others? So I moved beyond the limits of my perceptions and experience. 

But Caitlyn Jenner? This is presenting me with a new thing to consider. First of all, my personal experience with transgenders is limited. How limited? I know exactly a grand total of no transgender people. None! At least, not that I know about. And that's the thing, isn't it? Many transgenders have played to their outward role, hiding their true selves from our sight. But transgender people are saying they are no longer content being on the edge, in the background, as part of the scenery that we don't see.  

Caitlyn Jenner is being true to herself and that's not always an easy thing to accept, is it? Because all of us play at some role in some part of our lives that is not really us. There are dreams and desires and hopes that we keep to ourselves for fear of being ridiculed or ostracized. We know there are certain things people should keep to themselves. Things like being a woman in a man's body. 

And then we get Caitlyn Jenner, front and center, advancing from the background to the foreground and announcing, "Who I was was a lie! This is who I am!" 

And that is the part that I find a bit weird. OK, the man who is now a woman? Please forgive me but I'm still learning to process that in my aging and set in its ways mind. But that's not the really weird thing for me. The thing that is weird is that someone stepped forward and told us who they really were. That takes a level of courage that I know I don't have and very few of us do. 

But Caitlyn Jenner has that courage to be honest about who she really is. 

Yeah, that kind of courage is a bit weird. 

But I'm sure I'll learn to deal. 

Everyone, be good to one another. 

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

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