Be honest to myself, be honest to my family, be honest to my friends, and then maybe in that honesty I can help other people.
We live in a world that is taught to accept labels from birth. These labels are considered important, as they are a means to understand the world around us. Without those labels people are forced to admit that things are not as defined as they would like, and then all the constructs they we have come to accept as ‘normal’ come crashing down. Gender is one of these constructs; the concept that a woman is feminine and a male is masculine. This is simply not the case, and among terms such as androgynous, gender queer and gender neutral, we find transgender.
Rumours of Bruce Jenner’s transition have been spreading for a long time, but ever since late last year they have been in every magazine and completely inescapable. While these sorts of rumours are considered news for the rest of society, they were Bruce Jenner’s worst nightmare.
When Bruce confirmed he was transitioning into a woman in a tell-all with Diane Sawyer in April, it was being talked about all over the world. He had celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Mike Tyson and so many more tweeting in support. To have some of the biggest voices of our generation speaking in support of a marginalized, minority group is game-changing.
For the last 50 years I’ve always lived my life for everybody else, playing the role that they want me to play. At a point in life you get to… who should we make happy here? Who should I live my life for? Should I live my life for all these wonderful people? Or should I live my life for myself?
Bruce didn’t know who he was as a person. He struggled with feelings of inadequacy, like he had to keep his true identity a secret. Through all of these struggles he had the whole world is watching. This has been Bruce’s reality for 65 years. A whole 65 years of waking up and pretending to be someone he wasn’t. Bruce Jenner is a woman who had the courage to step out and make himself heard as a voice for the transgender community. Bruce is a woman that was once the ‘world’s greatest athlete’. A world-renowned athlete who was perceived as a ‘manly man’ because of the masculine ideas that are associated with athleticism. Bruce Jenner is someone people respect because of her accomplishments, who men respect because they saw him as the ideal version of a man. To have someone as respected as Bruce, make his identity public and openly admit he hopes to be a spokesperson for the community and make a change is incredible.
The transgender issue right now is kind of where the gay issue was 30, 40 years ago. A lot of people don’t understand it and what we need it tolerance towards that community. Because of the situation I’m in, I think we can do a lot of good.
Despite the long battle Bruce has fought with his identity, he still has his mind set on making a difference. It is truly admirable. In the two part special of Keeping Up With The Kardashians focused on Bruce, the happiness just radiated off of him. You could see the pure joy he felt from disusing his wardrobe with his daughter. This is a happiness he, along with the rest of the community, deserve. Bruce Jenner’s journey is a landmark moment; it is a moment we are going to remember forever. This is when society’s perceptions start changing, with a trans-pioneer such as Bruce Jenner leading the way.