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Sunday, June 7, 2015

My Thoughts on Caitlyn “Bruce” Jenner

I am having a hard time understanding Caitlyn Jenner’s gender change.  During an ABC news interview He/she (I am confused about how to refer to him) says that he has been living a lie since he was a child.  He says that for many years he experienced gender identity confusion.  It was like he was a woman living inside of a man’s body.  Jenner had surgery to get some breast implants and facial reconstruction.  As, far as I know he still has a penis and testicles.  Technically he is still a male, but still considers himself a female.

I remember him as an Olympic athlete and from the cover of Wheaties cereals boxes, from my childhood.  He was a handsome, masculine young man but I never would‘ve suspected that he was going through all that.  He came clean while still married to his first wife, Chrystie Scott about his identity crisis in the early 1970s.  She knew about it and it seems that she was supportive. In the 1980s he started taking female hormones in order to begin his transition into womanhood.  Then, he stopped because he didn’t want to cause harm to his young children.  I think his crisis caused him to not be such a good parent to his older children.  He wasn’t as active and present in their lives as he should have been. 

I don’t watch the Keeping up with the Kardashians show very often.  But, I could kind of tell that something was up with Bruce long before he made his announcement.  He started to look and act differently a few years ago and some of the family’s holiday photos were very telling.  There was one image that really struck me, where Bruce was trapped inside a glass case and I thought that was very symbolic. 

My thing is this:  I respect him as a human being.  I don’t condone people hating, harassing or harming transgender people. For the most part, I believe in live and let live.  To keep it 100, no matter how many surgeries he has to make his transition to becoming a female- He is still genetically a male.  Even if he has surgery to remove his testicles and penis, he still has the XY chromosome.  He will still need to take hormones for the rest of his life to suppress his male hormones.  

Just like he has a right to do what he wants with his life, I have a right to form my own perceptions and opinions.  I do not recognize him as a female.  I don’t think that people should be forced to agree or accept this.  And, people shouldn’t be labeled as "transphobic" just because they can’t wrap their minds around this. I have been reading comments on news articles and social media.  There’s a lot of people flipping the script by trolling and bullying the folks who don’t understand or accept this as their reality. And that’s wrong. 

Even though I think that it is bizarre and confusing, I can’t relate to how this man must think or feel.  I have no right to tell someone what to do with their own body.  I am not a psychiatrist or physician but I think that there may be something off kilter or off-balance with the biochemistry in his blood and nervous system.  

It is difficult for anyone to ever ascertain what he’s going through emotionally, physically and mentally.  There were some reports that he suffered from depression for a long time.   Harboring a secret of such magnitude would eat away at anyone’s psyche. I suspect that he was forcing himself to conform to societal norms and please others.  

At the same time, I think that his decision was somewhat selfish.  This is a man who was married to 2 or 3 women and has fathered many children.  I wonder if he really took enough time to think about how his transition would impact the lives of his children and his ex-wives?  If he knew that he was going through such as crisis, then why did he decide to bring these women into his life? I am not on that Kardashian bandwagon but those children and the wives are all going to need some counseling to come to grips with his decision.  

Bruce Jenner is going to make lots of money off of his journey to becoming a woman.  Prior to announcing his intention to undergo transgender sexual reassignment surgery, this man was making around $25,000 per speaking engagement.  Now, he commands around $100,000 per speaking engagement.  He gained millions of followers in social media within a few days.  The last time I checked he has over 2 million followers on Twitter.  He will also be starring in his own documentary show on E. By now most people have seen him come out as Caitlyn on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.  So, he’s been receiving much media coverage. 

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