I want to confess something. I don’t get the whole Bruce Jenner hype.
I’ve not always known who or what I am. With each event that occurs in my life, that changes. When my son was born I was no longer just a woman, I became a mom. When I graduated nursing school, I was no longer just a mom but became a nurse. On the inside I change constantly. One thing never changes though, and never will.
I’m a female.
Born with a uterus, ovaries and breasts. I also have all the female hormones running rampant through my bloodstream. Chemicals such as estrogen and progesterone, produced by my ovaries and uterus and adrenal glands. Of course the adrenal glands produce male hormones as well.
Both men and women are born with adrenal glands. One sits atop each kidney. DHEA and testosterone are specific to men in the long run but both are involved in creating the differences between a man and a woman.
Let me make a few things clear:
- I am not homophobic. I have many, many friends and some relatives that are gay or lesbian. Have all my life.
- I do believe in God and that he created all life forms.
- I believe everyone has the right to believe in whatever they want. When people ask for prayers or positivity, I give them what they need. I say a prayer. I send out positive energy. I send out good vibes and mojo. Whatever anyone needs.
Before you read on I will say this. I do not apologize for my thoughts on Bruce Jenner and his ongoing gender transition.
“For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.”
Those were Bruce Jenners words during his interview with Diane Sawyer.
“For all intents and purposes”. The phrase is defined as “in every practical sense.”
I’m sorry, but Bruce Jenner will never actually be a woman in the practical sense.
A lot of transgendered men, who have not undergone radical body transformations to be a woman, identify as a female or woman. They dress like women, wear their hair like women and put on make-up. Even change their names. That’s fine. What I don’t understand is how or why this whole thing has blown up into a huge glamorous issue about Bruce Jenner being a role model for generations to come.
With my opinion being said, and much to many people’s dismay, I’m sure…let me get on to what this piece is really about. What’s really bugging me.
He is not the first human to undergo a profound change in identity. I’m talking about a complete and utter change in all ways possible by mankind.
That person was Laura Maud Dillon. She was born in 1915 in Ireland and later in life became Laurence Michael.
Probably the only difference, of course in my opinion, between Jenner and Michael is that Michael came from a time where you just did not open up about things like this. For God’s sake! It’s a wonder she wasn’t burned at the stake back then. Yet, I’m pretty sure nobody really knows who she is or was. I didn’t even know until I searched for the first transgendered person. It’s a really interesting story too.
As a mental health advocate, I find myself pounding the pavement daily in my life trying to stomp out the stigma against depression, anxiety and bipolar, along with every other mental illness diagnosis out there. I just happen to know first hand the ins and outs of the first three.
Yet, when I get on the horn to local television stations in May every year and ask for a five minute spot to promote mental health awareness, I am shot down. You know who does get those spots? Local people who mingle with the rich, the powerful and those who know nothing about what they are talking about. The only difference between me and them? I’m a nobody. Well, I am a somebody to some people but not to the powerful.
Instead we dote on TV stars, movie stars, singers and other famous people, who “come out” about things. Why? Because those are the people who are shoved in our faces everyday and blasted across the radio frequencies in our cars.
Meet Shelby Allensworth.
Meet Adam Anderson.
We should be listening to their story. Not just Catherine Zeta Jones, Mel Gibson, Brooke Shields or Emma Thompson.
What about all the little people out there making a difference? What about all the behind the scenes people in the lives of those that are going through controversial issues? Just because Kim Kardashian is Bruce Jenner’s step-daughter, we’re supposed to “oooh” and “aaah” and commend them both for sharing their experience?
In a way, yes! They are brave for sharing their story. They are heroes in a sense, but they are just everyday people in the end like you and me. Plain and simple.
I challenge Diane Sawyer or any other journalist to find that hidden gem of a person in Podunk, USA and let them tell their story. Find ten of them. Those are the stories I want to hear. I want to hear from their children, mothers and fathers. Their families and friends for once.
I Googled two things: “transgendered men in America” and “transgender women in America”.
Guess what? There isn’t any personal story (unless you count the news stories about the murders that have occurred) other than famous people.
Good for Bruce for speaking out. That’s a pretty awesome feeling I’m sure to be able to tell billions of people your story. What a load off of his chest, no pun intended, to have that big of a voice. I’m tired of hearing about you though Bruce.
I think it’s time we start looking at ourselves. Our neighbors, co-workers, local grocery clerk, librarians, mail clerks and friends and stop glorifying celebrity status. Stop making that status bigger than it already is and show the World that we shouldn’t just see the rich and powerful and famous as heroes and generational icons.
Long after the lights fade on the set or the next song has played, there will still be the little people struggling upstream.
None of that changes because you are a celebrity.