Although the transitioning of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner has been in the news constantly for a while now, to be honest I haven’t caught up with it much, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity become more educated on the situation. Over the last few months, I have heard all types of talk about Caitlyn Jenner. How could he receive certain bravery awards over people who have fought for our country and actually deserve it? or Caitlyn Jenner is so brave, it takes a lot to truly identify with herself, especially when she’s in the public eye. I don’t have an extreme opinion on the matter like some people do, but seeing a situation like this blow up in the media and be so significant is very interesting to me. I can admit I was genuinely surprised when I saw how positively some people responded to the whole situation. Years ago, I’m positive if someone in the public eye were to make such a decision, they would not be glorified or respected for it whatsoever. Although there is still plenty of ridicule taking place now towards Caitlyn Jenner, if this occurred about 10 or 20 years ago there would have been significantly more ridicule. However, I feel as though being in the public eye may have eased the pain a little bit, because although he has many people against him, there are many people supporting him and who can relate to him as well. This experience is not always as easy for normal, non celebrities because they aren’t always blessed enough to have that support system. Often times, their families are not supportive of their decision and they aren’t able to be as confident about it as celebrities. Now that Caitlyn Jenner has come out with his decision, I feel it has completely opened a new pathway for numerous people to do the same. Now that someone who is well-known has decided to be transgender, they will feel less pressure, and when they share their decision with other people, those people may be more receptive, or at least not as shocked as they would have been prior to this media blow up of Caitlyn.
Regarding intersectionality, I think the part of Cailtyn Jenner’s story that was the most interesting to me is that she was known all of her life for being a strong, masculine athlete and his identity was very much rooted in that. Everyone knew him as someone manly and that is the image he identified with until now. In his interview with Diane Sawyer, he explained that although he was this masculine athlete, his soul was more feminine than masculine. Since he was a child, he had issues identifying with his gender. The interesting part to me was the interconnectedness of his profession and what he made his living and built his legacy off of, and his inner soul and how he actually felt about himself inside. They were very different from each other, yet overlapped in his life. He mentioned the story of when he was a child and put on a dress for the first time and how good he felt about it. However, he would make sure to put the dress back in the same spot so he wouldn’t get caught. This part shows that because he was a boy, even though he was so young, he knew that boys weren’t supposed to wear dresses. At such a young age, he knew the social norms of each gender. This shows that back then, if he were to even bring up the fact that he liked to wear dresses or enjoyed feminine things more than masculine ones, his family would not have accepted it, so he put the dresses back to leave them without a trace. I remember him saying, “I don’t know what I was doing, but whatever it was, it felt right.”. It is hard for me to completely understand his perspective but it is interesting that he put it this way. Overall, getting to research this topic showed me that there is a lot of interconnectedness in society today, especially with Caitlyn Jenner.
Dooley, Sean, Margaret Dawson, Lana Zak, Christina Ng, Lauren Effron, and Meghan Keneally. “Bruce Jenner: ‘I’m a Woman'” ABC News. ABC News Network, n.d. Web. 09 Aug. 2015.