A Republican, Catholic, and a Freak ~ Ye Gay Ol’ Valley

jennerBy: Dani Langevin – May, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I saw a posting on Facebook that showed Bruce Jenner on the cover of a Wheaties box in the 1970’s when he was a decathlon athlete. Next to it was a picture of Jenner wearing a dress on the cover of a box of Fruity Pebbles. On the last Sunday of April, after Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer where Jenner called himself a republican and a catholic, there was a Facebook posting calling her a freak, too. (Jenner has asked that the media continue to refer to him as male until further notice. I will respect his wishes) I did not see the interview. I was out of the country and had meant to DVR it, but to my disappointment I forgot. I did not want to see it because I wanted to sit on my couch passing judgment or gawk at the freak on my TV screen. I wanted to watch it to see the courageous 65-year-old public figure sit across from an interviewer and allow the world into his private hell. What a brave person Jenner is. And for those who posted judgmental and denigrating comments on social media, your God will deal with you in due time. It’s nothing but modern day bullying.

I do not understand those that are transgendered. How could I even begin to? I don’t believe it is an emotional disorder. It also does not infringe upon anyone’s basic freedoms or civil rights except the transgendered themselves, because of how people view and treat them. By definition, “transgender is an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.” Every transgendered person I have met has stated that their gender identity, how they feel on the inside, does not fit their physical gender identity on the outside.

How horrible it must be for them to have such an internal struggle with their external shell. So horrible in fact, that almost 50% of those who identify themselves as transgendered have attempted suicide. If you are secretly thinking good, I ask: what is wrong with you? Especially if you identify yourself as a Christian, you are not emulating yourself after your savior, Jesus Christ. If he were here, he’d spit in your face and embrace those who you scorn. It must be frighteningly lonely to look at yourself in the mirror and see one gender staring back at you, but feel completely like another within the soul of your being. While I cannot begin to comprehend what this would be like, I can certainly grasp why suicide would be a comfortable solution. However, they are, after all, someone’s son, daughter, sibling, relative or friend and they are human. They deserve to be loved and supported however hard it might be to accept or understand. Isn’t that what Jesus would do?

One judgmental ignorant person on Facebook said that if Jenner were meant to be a woman, God would have made him a woman at birth. If this were true, then how does this person explain hermaphrodites and birth defects? Did God make them that way? Does this person know how genetics work? God doesn’t decide what sex people are, X and Y do. God has nothing to do with who we are at conception and birth or who we become as our lives unfold. I am the master of my own destiny. If you believe otherwise, then God decided that some people would be transgendered.

Jenner was labeled a freak. I’m sure that the person who used that term believes that all transgendered people are freaks. The definition of freak is, “any abnormal phenomenon or product or unusual object.”

By definition, anything manmade is a freak. Everything manufactured by man is not a natural phenomenon; therefore, all manufactured goods are freaks of nature. How many freaks of nature do you buy, use, and/or consume on a daily basis? While on the subject of abnormal phenomenon, God is exactly that. How many of you have met it? How many Gods walk the earth and interact with the normal phenomenon we call mankind? I’m willing to bet none. God is most unusual. How many of you worship the freak you call God?

I digress as I often do. The point is that none of us can begin to know the struggles Jenner and all other transgendered peoples go through to try to reconcile with who they are on the inside and out. It is, in fact, abnormal to most of us. Men and heterosexuals are abnormal to me, but I can accept their existence, respect their tendencies that come naturally to them, and love them as human beings.

Do I believe Jenner is emotionally stable? No, I don’t. I think he has tried so hard to live up to the persona the media has assigned him since the 1970’s while hiding how he personified himself, that Jenner has been emotionally damaged. I also believe he is very much aware of this fact and that is why he is being very public about his plight.

I did catch bits and pieces of Sawyer’s interview. Jenner was spot on in saying that by being publicly open about his journey and transition he will undoubtedly open doors and save lives of many others who wrestle with the same issues. That is one of the many obligations that a public figure such as Jenner has to the general public. If they are completely transparent about their lives, then those who relate to it will have something to hold on to and keep them going. Angelina Jolie was applauded when she opted for a double mastectomy even when she didn’t have cancer. No doubt her public efforts saved the lives of other women. Jenner is doing the same thing for the transgendered community.

With all of that being said, if you truly believe that Jenner is emotionally sick and/or unstable then shame on you for calling him a freak and exploiting his transgendered identity. Would you do that to someone with any other emotional or mental disorder say schizophrenia or bipolar disease? Do you think it’s okay to do this with Jenner because it’s associated with his sexuality? If so, then you’re nothing but an ignorant bully. In the scheme of things, Jenner has more testicular fortitude than you could ever hope to possess.