I was finally able to see the Diane Sawyer Interview on Bruce Jenner and boy was it an epic 2 hour journey. It had actually moved some emotional juggernaut of feelings inside my soul to say the least. And now, I need to let those thoughts out…
We all know the Olympian beast that was Bruce Jenner. At the time he could have even rivalled the Greek gods with his speed, strength and agility. More recently though, we had come to know him as the Patriarchal figure in the Kardashian’s reality show. I will admit that I have watched those shows throughout the years and I have always thought Bruce as just a man taking care of his family. He was not into the high life, he liked his gadgets (remote controlled helicopters) he loved playing golf, but most important of all he cherished his family. All 10 kids worth of cherish. To him family was paramount to his existence. That was how I saw him. At times he would just float around in the background, like a part of the back story. He was never in the forefront, unlike the kardashian sisters who took centre stage. But throughout all these years, as Bruce Jenner floated around in the background, he carried a burden so huge that his shoulders should have broken.
But after 65 years Bruce Jenner was finally able to speak his truth and tell the world that he always thought of himself as a woman at heart. Watching it, I felt for him. I saw his tears and through them saw 65 years worth of hidden suffering. I could not fathom a life where I wasn’t able to be true to myself. Where I couldn’t be exactly who I wanted to be. And here was this beast of an Olympian sitting before us professing a lifetime of secrecy. Of a person who could not be himself. I honestly don’t know how he’s coped with such a thing. Or for that matter, do this all in the public eye.
Personally it hit home when I watched it as it reminded me of my Uncle. He too lived with a secret all his life. He was never able to tell anyone that he was gay and unfortunately he died with that secret. He too was never able to be himself. I am not in any means relating it to what a Transgender human being goes through. But I can relate to seeing a family member hide their true self. My grandparents would not have understood and so my Uncle lived alone, became unhealthy, was unhappy and eventually died. I do think however that he had a little smirk on his face up in heaven, as I stumbled upon naked penises on his DVD/CD collection. And I’m equally as sure that he laughed his ass off as he saw me tell my Aunt that the pictures that she thought were a catalogue of paintings and furniture were instead a nice array of penises. It’s a shame really, thinking back on it. I was too young to be able to have such a conversation with him when he was still alive. He would have never told me at that age. But I do want him to know that I would have loved him no matter what and I would have supported him with how he wanted to live his life.
By Bruce Jenner opening up this part of himself to the world it will hopefully spur a sea of acknowledgement, acceptance, and tolerance by society. It will no doubt help all those little children that might be grappling with similar feelings. It might help families come together and show support for their loved ones as they deal with the emotional and psychological aspects of such a revelation. Suicide rates for transgender individuals are high. Not to mention the murders and abuse that is going on around the world when one finds out that an individual is transitioning or a transgender.
To me, any form of harm whether it be emotional, psychological, physical and/or mental is simply unacceptable. We should all have a bit more compassion to our fellow human beings that are roaming this earth. For we have no clue what one’s story could be. What hidden pain they are shielding away behind high walls. A barricaded life of solitude. Therefore what Bruce Jenner just did for the rest of us was extraordinary. He showed us how bravery comes in all different forms and that you should always be true to yourself.
For those who can’t find it in their hearts to understand, then simply say nothing. For the rest, let’s spread the word that this is the type of world we want to live in. A world where you can be who you want to be. And eventually a world where gender and defining oneself will be a thing of the past.
Just think, wouldn’t it be a glorious moment where our world wasn’t defined into categories. Male, Female, Gay, Straight, Transgender, Religious, Atheist, Geek, Nerd, Preppy and so on. Instead, can’t we just become a society of people? Isn’t it getting a little tiresome to define what box you’re in, in society? Where your place should be?
Therefore, Bruce Jenner, I applaud your bravery. You have in a way become a spokesperson for a community that needs a bigger voice. And through this I hope more people come out and band together in the knowing that they are not alone.
But most importantly, I just hope people will be kind to your new true self.