Bruce Jenner Comes Out As Transgender
by lizzfowler on April 27, 2015 - 9:12pm
(For this article, I will use 'they' and 'them' pronouns to refer to Bruce Jenner because they have not confirmed which pronouns they prefer)
This past Friday, Bruce Jenner was interviewed by ABC's Diane Sawyer and after months of speculation confirmed the rumours: they are a transgender woman. The news has all of North America and maybe even the world talking. What has shocked surprised me the most is that most of the feedback I have heard has been positive. Perhaps the world is taking an example from the Kardashian and Jenner families, who are overwhelmingly supportive of Bruce in their time of need. The bravery that it must have taken Bruce Jenner to come out as transgender with the world watching (with the knowledge that a huge amount of the audience holds onto very transphobic views) blows me away and I can do nothing but admire them. However, it should not be an act of bravery for someone to live their life that way that they want.
At the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Laverne Cox said to Janet Mock that she believed that people tuned in to see a spectacle, but instead they saw a "profoundly nuanced, complicated, beautiful human being". Janet Mock said that she believes that Bruce Jenner coming out as transgender with the fame that they have has created an "Ellen moment" (similar to how Ellen DeGeneres became an icon to the gay community, Bruce Jenner has become an icon to the trans community). Although there are transgender people represented in the media, they are often represented in unsavory ways, and if they aren't then they are normally transgender people who appear to be either extremely "passing" (being perceived as one's desired gender) or not "passing" at all. There are very few accurate representations of trans people in the media, and there is a constant fixation on biology that dehumanizes them. With Bruce Jenner coming out as transgender openly before they are perceived as a passing woman, and after they have been seen as the poster child for masculinity for so many years, it is very grounding to see this more accurate portrayal of what it means to be trans. In doing this interview with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner has become an example of what transgender is for those who did not or do not understand what it is. This enlightenment and learning period is what they trans community needs to be more visible. As a whole, in representing more trans people in the way that Bruce Jenner has been portrayed, as a real person with feeling and a family instead of as sexualized objects, the public can create this normalization of trans people that happened and is still happening for gay and queer people. Through new power and im showing collective support for trans people, we allow them to be able to live their lives freely the way that they choose, which is something that every human being is entitled to.