Off the Record (OTR)

My Thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner

Yes, we’re all aware that former U.S. Olympic champion and Kardashian reality star Bruce Jenner has undergone gender reassignment and is now Caitlyn Jenner. I really don’t care too much about this story to be quite honest, but I feel the need to comment because of all the nonsense I’ve been reading on social media. So here is what I think in “My Thoughts” style (because why not?):

What I liked…

-I don’t know Bruce Jenner. I don’t know Caitlyn Jenner. Odds are, I never will. I don’t know what his life was like. I don’t know what her life is like. But, I’m glad that she can finally be the person that she felt she was all along. I hope she’s happy. And this may sound callous, but I really don’t care all that much. I don’t know her and my very selfish way of thinking limits the amount of time I spend caring about things that don’t affect me.

-What I do care about is if all this publicity helps someone else cope with a similar situation. I saw that some 40% of transgender people will attempt suicide at least once? Holy hell! That’s not good. If Caitlyn’s story helps a few of those people, then all of this publicity is a good thing. You have to get to a very, very deep place in your soul to decide to change your gender. You have to get to a very, very deep place in your soul to try to kill yourself. I can’t comprehend either.

…and not so much…

-I don’t like people who say this was all a publicity stunt. I mean…you have to be kidding me, right? Ask yourself: How much fame, notoriety and money would it take for you to change your sexual identity? Think about it. Tell me what you’d want to do it. What would be fair? Would you do it for $1 trillion? Be president of the United States? Supreme global leader? You can have anything you want, tell me. I know my answer.

-I don’t like how it’s okay to bash certain groups of people. Ever notice that the target always moves? It was okay to rag on black people. Now it’s not. It was okay to hurl slurs and insults at gays. Now it’s not. But transgender freaks? Go for it! It’s something I don’t understand! Let’s ridicule it! You’re less than human!

-I don’t like all the people bitching that Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for the ESPY’s, for a variety of reasons. For one, the award says that it’s for those whose achievements transcend sport. This would qualify, correct? Secondly, who the hell cares? Not only is it a pointless award in terms of its impact on your life (just like Oscars, Emmys, etc), it’s an ESPY. Who cares who gets an ESPY?

Some have said that she shouldn’t get it because his achievements in the Olympics were so long ago. Did anyone make that argument in 2008 when John Carlos and Tommy Smith got the same award? If so, I don’t remember that…because it didn’t happen. It’s dog whistle stuff because this situation makes you uncomfortable.

CaitlynJennerVF-I love the people sharing the meme on social media (I’m sick of memes in general) that we ridiculed Michael Jackson for his physical transformations, but we cheer Caitlyn Jenner as a hero. You people are stupid and suck at analogies. I don’t even want to waste keystrokes explaining why the two aren’t related…at all.

-I don’t like the fact that some supporters make it sound like Caitlyn is the first person to ever do this. No, they have not said that specifically, but it comes across that way some times.

-Thanks to the folks posting military pictures to tell us why that is what true courage and bravery is and not what Jenner did. I have nothing but the utmost respect for our military men and women. I salute them and thank them when I see them in public (kind of freaks them out some times, but hey). Next drink is on me if we’re at the bar. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you do. And these people are right, what you do is truly heroic and courageous. I could never do it. If it were up to people like me to defend our country, we’d all be speaking German. But, I digress.

But, does that mean Jenner’s transformation can’t be courageous too in its own way? It’s a different kind of courage, but courage nonetheless. And let me be clear, I’m not one of the folks shouting “she’s a hero!!!” from the mountain tops.

-Not sure I can blame people necessarily, but I think Caitlyn would get more support if she wasn’t associated with the Kardashians. Sad, but probably true.

The bottom line is the people who are angry that this is a big story are the exact reason it’s a big story. The people who want to act like “who cares? This is no big deal!” are the same ones I saw posting “sickening!” and “I guess it’s tranny appreciation day” on their Facebook wall. You hurl your insults while simultaneously saying that this isn’t a story.

You are the reason this is a big story because you are the ones that find this reprehensible. You are the reason this is courageous because you are the people she has to hear for the rest of her life. In a restaurant, on Twitter, in the media, you are the people who make it so difficult for a person who decides to be herself finally.

And at the end of the day…who cares? Go back to posting pictures of your kids that you think are way cuter than the rest of us do. If it’s bothering you so much that your news feed is cluttered with links and images of Caitlyn, then you probably should have deleted your account right around the ice bucket challenge.

Did Caitlyn kill Osama bin Laden? Nope. Is she ruining your life? See: first answer.

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