Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My thoughts on Bruce Jenner...for what they're worth

In anticipation of Bruce Jenner's upcoming interview, I've had several people have ask me what I think of the stories coming out about him. I don't really know how to answer. After all, everything I've read has been pure media speculation. We haven't heard a word yet from Bruce (which tells me he just wants a few more moments of peace and privacy, something I'm sure is of limited currency considering he's kind of a Kardashian). 

But I have been thinking a lot about Bruce and his family. While I don't think that raising my sweet Allie makes me any sort of spokesperson, as a mama of a transgender child, I do have a few thoughts. And those thoughts are based on the assumption that the media speciation is true and that Bruce is in the process of a transition from male to female. We don't know. Only he knows and he's decided not to share quite yet. And that's fine. It isn't any of our business. And he doesn't owe us any explanations. But, if he is going through a transition from male to female, here are my thoughts.

1) After watching a few seasons of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I long ago decided that Bruce was the most well-adjusted one of the bunch. I still believe that. It takes some serious self-awareness, self-confidence and a genuine spirit to make that kind of transition, to admit to yourself that you will be much happier being who you are and to take control of your life in that way, especially when you're doing it under public and media scrutiny. Go, Bruce!

2) What an asset to the transgender community. Talk about bucking the stereotype! An Olympic athlete, a successful business person, a public figure who seems to have himself together, even if he hasn't yet shown the world who that self is.

3) I really wish the jokes would stop. The Fruit Loops, or whatever type of cereal box meme is not only overplayed, it just isn't funny. Transitioning isn't an overnight process. It's a long, slow journey, filled with trepidatious steps forward and hesitant, reluctant steps backward. If Bruce has identified as a women but has lived as a man all this time it means he has lived the majority of his life desperately needing something he didn't have. Can you imagine the pain and despair that must go along with trying to survive without something vital? Can you imagine how lonely it must feel to know that you can't even be who you are around the people that love you the most? It truly makes my heart hurt. And it should make your heart hurt, too.

Whatever Bruce says in his interview this Friday, he's obviously been struggling. And he's been doing so in public. And he has been sorely mistreated by so many media outlets and all of the people that have ridiculed his story, his story where he is simply and quietly trying to be who he is. And we all deserve better than that.

So, before you post that picture of Bruce on the cereal box (or even "like" someone else's post), or before you snicker at whatever other horrible, close minded internet jokes are going to come after Friday's interview, just take a minute to remember: he is somebody's son. Somebody's father. And he appears to have a good heart. And he is being really brave. So let's just be nice, y'all.