Monday, April 27, 2015
I have to preface this by saying, believe it or not, I've seen maybe ONE partial episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I've definitely never seen any of their spin-off shows. They're just not interesting to me. I know I've definitely watched what someone would consider "worse" or possible more offensive reality shows. And enjoyed them fully. Just something about these people renders them completely unappealing to me. Same with Teen Mom. I know people love it, especially the OG crew. Just not my cup of tea. Neither was Bruce Jenner. I am not into sporting. I'm too young (I AM) to have been very in the know or excited by his sporting triumphs. Nor do I care about sports. Even hearing that there were possibilities Bruce was cross dressing or transitioning didn't get me to turn the show on.
I wasn't even sure I would watch the interview. As I've said, I watch Wendy Williams. She is always talking about the whole K family. I'm going to use "she" in reference to Bruce for the rest of this because that's her gender. Wendy was sympathetic towards Bruce's struggle but she admonished her for being a fame whore like the rest of them. She said she should be focused on other things. Like that her seventeen year old daughter is a high school drop out dating a man in his mid to late twenties. For some reason, even though I'd seen just a bit of an episode, I didn't agree. I didn't feel like she was going to do the interview or the following reality show for fame. She already has fame. Even if she didn't do the interview, if she was going to continue going out in public in women's clothing, ponytails, and nail polish, then she was going to be in the media. On other people's terms. This way, at least there is some semblance of control. And possibly helping someone else. Like it or not, being who she is, who "he" WAS, it's a really big deal. This wasn't Chazz Bono, a woman who transitioned to a man. Bruce was a man, revered for his athletic ability- his "manliness" saying he is really a she. It's huge. I was going to watch to basically see Bruce prove Wendy wrong.
Bruce Jenner is brave. Extremely brave. There is no other way to say it and no way to diminish that. She is brave. However, I also feel like she didn't have a choice. It was like a witch hunt. It seems like out in Los Angeles- you have two choices. You can be (the old) Sean Penn or Alec Baldwin with the paparazzi & media or you decide- ok, I will just give them what they want and maybe they'll be more respectful. They were going to chase her relentlessly anyway. She could keep running & keep being a joke to late night talk show hosts and radio people, etc. or she could just put it all out there to stop all the speculation. Because NOW, it's going to be un-PC (a word?) to be as cruel as people publicly have been. Before there was no concrete proof so I feel like people felt like it was ok to goof on her.
I do think that the Diane Sawyer interview helped, not hindered, the "cause" of bringing transgender issues out into the light for better understanding. I saw some comments from people that I don't tend to think of as the most sensitive or sharpest crayon in the box that were definitely of the more open minded variety. AFTER seeing the interview. Where as prior to the interview, they may have made some Bruce jokes themselves or contributed to the joking in some Facebook threads.
So, yes, I think it shed some light on some dark minds. I just don't feel like she should have felt pressured to do it. Pressure comes in many forms. No one put a gun to her head, but no one was going to leave her alone either. The only way to at least lessen the jokes and speculation would be to put it out there. THEN, if you make jokes, you're a dick. Or at least many of us think you're the dick. Make no mistake, I thought it before, but make the joke now, all I'm thinking is, "Seriously?". I really feel like some otherwise funny people, famous and not, are going for very low hanging fruit for laughs. I know I have a great sense of humor. I'm pretty funny myself. Transgender issues are just not something I find amusing. I'm not sure why it's funny to anyone. OH, people commit suicide over being transgendered! HAHA. It's even funnier when they can't look on the outside the way they felt they should've from birth! SO FUNNY!! It's downright hysterical when their families belittle and disown them! CRYLAUGHING! I know I can find a joke in there somewhere about how families send their kids to therapy to get the transgender out and fix them!
It's not funny that at sixty-five years old, after living with anguish, turmoil, and having to basically dress as a foreign gender for a whole life, she has to first learn how to be attractive and look the way she envisioned herself looking. It took me YEARS to get make-up, hair removal, wrinkle control, style, right. Or right for me. And I surely don't look like a supermodel on any random day. I got through trial and error relatively early in life. I had the luxury of being the same gender on the inside and out from the get-go. I feel for a man who has to learn all the womanly secrets of appearance that late in the game. With millions of eyes on her, waiting to pounce on any misstep, at every turn.
I don't believe that just because someone is famous they lose any and all right to privacy. Yes she was on a reality show so people will say she asked for it. Asked to be hunted down. But I disagree. She just seems like a nice person who rolls with the punches and is a people pleaser. She didn't set out to hurt anyone. As a married man, with kids- a religious guy, a CONSERVATIVE guy, I don't know that she thought there would ever be a time she would be able to live as her true self. She had two marriages, two divorces, and four kids under her belt. She'd already attempted to transition once, then backed out after taking hormones for FIVE years. She still stuffed it down. I'm going to assume that he had pretty much resigned himself to this just being her life. Then things with Kris went downhill and I think he saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Not just from the KarTrashian mess, but from having to live as someone she isn't.
I have to also point out- For a man (as he was) with three ex's & ten kids, to have the unwavering support and kind words from two, possibly three, of the ex's and almost all the kids, that must mean something. Even if she didn't tell the WHOLE extent of it to Kris, on some level, she knew. Or she was completely delusional. If your man tells you he's been on female hormones for five years, I don't think there really IS any more to say after that. Except maybe- "Oh. We'll be great friends." Marriage comes off the table. She chose to ignore it or think she could change Bruce. In my opinion, Bruce just wanted to be loved and accepted. Bruce wanted a family. It's not uncommon for someone in the LGBT community to want to just feel "normal". To forgo their needs for what they perceive as normalcy. I'm guessing, for Bruce, at different times in her life, normalcy was more important than trying to go through the transition. Having lived with the secret for so long just became a way of life. Bruce says she loved Kris. Kris tells him that he'll be fine, this is more like a phase, or something she can just get out of her system at home, so Bruce is just agreeable. As Bruce had been for a lifetime already.
I'm just torn. I still just don't think it was anyone's business. I don't think she owed the public any explanation. It's a great story to spur conversation and understanding so all I can hope is that something good comes from her speaking out.
Unfortunately, people are still stupid and immature. I've seen people discussing on social media how nervous & odd acting she was during the interview. Picking apart every aspect of her appearance. It's just so ignorant. I've seen people who've lived in their gender their whole lives and still don't look spectacular. I'm pretty sure anyone in that position would be nervous. Public speaking is in the top three fears in humans. Try public speaking, that you're transgender, to millions of people, many who are watching just to see a spectacle, and see how you fare.
In in the end of the interview, she seemed happy, with lots of love and support, and that's really all that matters.