Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have heard that Bruce Jenner finally admitted during a live interview with Diane Sawyer that he is transgender. Some have called Bruce a “Fame whore” or suggested that going through a complete gender change is just a part of 'Keeping up with the Kardashians". Let me say right now how utterly absurd that is.
The media has been awash with opinions and stories about this, and everyone has their opinion. I felt compelled to write this post to publicly declare my support for Jenner; 65 years is too long to hide from who you really are, just because society will judge you. We all have the right to be the person we want to be, and I cannot imagine the struggle that Jenner has gone through. To finally sit down and say "for all intensive [sic] purposes I’m a woman” must have been the most liberating moment of her life.
As she sits down to face Diane, Jenner cannot contain her emotions:
“I’ve been thinking about this day forever. What I should do with my life? How do I tell my story? How do I tell people what i’ve been through?”
This process must be difficult enough for someone who is not in the public eye. To tell your family something so important is hard, especially as transgender is something a lot of us haven't experienced, so how can we possibly understand? It's unfortunate that when people don't understand something, often they fail to empathise or accept it.
"Always confused with my gender identity”
At 65 years old, Jenner has found the courage to sit down, on camera, and tell the world who she really is. I personally cannot imagine having to hide something so huge, and live a lie for so many years. My heart definitely goes out to her, and I'm so proud of the bravery she has shown.
“Let’s take the damn ponytail out”
A celebrated Olympian, and the original macho man, Jenner tells Diane Sawyer that she even though she wasn't genetically born a female, she still identifies as female.
"It’s really pretty funny. Me, of all people, Bruce Jenner, has to deal with these issues. Literally running away from all this stuff…”
Trying to maintain a sense of humour about the situation, Jenner continues to explain what being transgender means to her and how she has reached this point:
“I hate the word [sic] “girl stuck in a man’s body” I hate that terminology. I’m me, this is who I am. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body, It’s just who I am as a human being”
Having taken out her ponytail and finally 'let her hair down' she starts to look more at ease, you can see that a weight has been lifted off her shoulders and the interview continues:
“Bruce always telling a lie, he’s lived a lie his whole life about who he is. I can’t do that any longer”
In 1976 Bruce Jenner represented America at the Summer Olympics held in Montreal. Winning the gold medal in the decathlon and setting the world record of 8,616 points, from the outside it appeared as though Bruce was on top of the world. However, underneath the masculine exterior there was this dark secret that she was struggling to come to terms with. Bruce was scared to death and kept running away from what she really was, out of “big time fear”.
The LGBQT community knows only too well the impact that an unaccepting society can have. Suicide, persecution, humiliation, ridicule, bullying, and a complete lack of acceptance are all things that people have to cope with. To have waited until she was 65 before finally being able to come out and be who she is in front of the world is too long to wait, she should have felt comfortable to do this the moment she realised herself, but if she had would she have still been here? I'm so glad that in 2015 we're able to celebrate these things, and not judge, however there's still a long way to go. Jenner has always identified as a woman and is now ready to rock the frock and kick butt!
"We’re going to change the world.”
Let me end this post by saying: as a female, we’re happy to have you Bruce, Belinda, or whatever you choose to call yourself. You’re delivering a powerful message and raising much needed awareness for the transgender community, and promoting the acceptance of everyone as a human being. Whatever letter you identify with SLGBQT, we got your back!
Fellow Gumption Gal Emily also wrote about Bruce Jenner, with a powerful message on why is her story important! Read Emily's article and share here