Like a lot of people, I've had some thoughts on Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner.
For most people of my generation, Jenner is a reality television star involved in the black hole that is the Kardashian empire on E!. For those of my parents generation, Jenner was considered the greatest athlete in the world after winning the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Regardless of how you know her, both young and old watched as Jenner made the change from Bruce to Caitlyn. We were all introduced to her when the July cover of Vanity Fair was released on Monday afternoon, and said our final goodbye to Bruce, as if he never existed. Heck, some people react to the name Bruce like you are summoning Voldemort.
The reaction has been mostly positive. There have been some negative comments, but that is expected, especially in the age of social media. There has been the occasional "pronoun shaming" because some are still using "he, his and him" when talking about Jenner's life before becoming Caitlyn. In my own personal opinion, I don't think it's done intentionally to be mean. Even I've been "pronoun shamed" once since Monday. Caitlyn was Bruce for 65 years. We've only known her for a few days, so writing "she won the gold medal at the Olympics" and "she married Kris Kardashian" will come naturally after some time.
I like to think that most people try to be more open-minded in this day and age. We've made progress with civil rights, gay rights and same sex marriage as a country. We're not scoring 100 percent on any of those issues, but we continue to try.
Jenner's polarizing image as an Olympic athlete and reality television star makes her the newest face of transgender equality and acceptance. Caitlyn's story is one that most of us will read and say we support. Some of us want to say, "I understand how she (Jenner) feels."
You say it, but you don't fully understand.
It's hard to imagine being a man or woman who feels like they were born the wrong gender. Your gender is a coin toss. It all came down to what chromosome you got from dad. We just accept ourselves as male or female. Jenner is one who tolerated being a man, but felt like she should have been born a woman.
For the older generations, seeing the athlete that was considered the greatest in the world in the late 1970s go through this change is probably different than those who saw Jenner as just some reality television star who became a part of the crazy, over-covered Kardashians.
Those who see themselves as progressive or liberal in thinking may call those older folks "bigots" or "intolerant." But imagine if a high-profile athlete of the millennial generation decided to have a sex change later in their life? Don't you think people of my generation would have the same reaction my parents generation's had to Bruce becoming Caitlyn? I would not call them intolerant. I'd prefer to call them confused.
Hopefully, this kind of thing is not a big deal 30 years from now. Some would hope that it falls under the same category as having openly gay pro athletes like Michael Sam. Society has not posted a perfect score on that issue either, but there's still an effort to make this a non-issue in the future.
The only people who completely understand Caitlyn Jenner are those who have been through the same thing she has, or are confused about who they truly are like she was when we called her Bruce.
I don't completely understand it.
Most of you don't either.
It's a chance to ask questions and try to learn why Jenner and others have made this life change. Maybe, someday, it will all make sense.
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