Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Caitlyn Jenner: Be a Hero and Decline the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
Where was I?
Coming out for me wasn't hard at all. In fact, the process of keeping my sexual orientation a secret tore me apart more so. I'm sure it's the same for the transgender community too. On many levels, yes it takes a certain amount of courage to tell the people you love, "Hey, this is me and I'm not going to change." The courage in that is mostly about losing your relationships with family and friends. You definitely see who truly loves you after hearing the big news. It can be the scariest thing to tell your parents that you're gay or transgender. It's also scary to be a young girl telling mom and dad that you're pregnant when you have a few years left of school to finish. So my question would be: is it "courageous" to come out, or is it more about overcoming fear? Or is it the same thing? I honestly can't decide.
"Oh she looks so beautiful."
Of course she does. Do you know how much money you have to spend in order to achieve a 'well assimilated transition' as she did? (Let's not mention good lighting, photography and photoshop.) Between the years of hormonal therapy, ongoing reconstructive cosmetic surgery, as well as her future (if she chooses) sexual reassignment surgery -- the average person would be in debt for a lifetime. I'm not saying it's the easy way out -- but it sure makes things a lot easier when you can have everything at the tip of your fingers. She isn't going to get beat up in the streets or tortured by her coworkers while pick-packing in some factory because no one will hire her. The struggles for a transgender woman to achieve a career or to just maintain one is devastating.
So in my opinion, the "average transgender woman" has more courage to come out as who she is than say, Caitlyn Jenner. It's the courage to transition and not be protected by body guards and a huge entourage. It's the courage to quit your day job to become 'who you are'. It's the bravery to come back to work and show up as another gender with a whole other name. It's the courage to have to explain to ignorant society that "this is who you are" and that's that. But for Caitlyn -- even the amount of "Christian hatred" that's been spewed all over social media as well as a few TV networks is just the tip of the iceberg of what someone goes through who lives an ordinary life. Yes, it's okay to call Caitlyn a "hero" and look up to her because you're transitioning yourself, and maybe that gives you some sort of hope for our future, but are we taking this too far?
Does she really deserve the Arthur Ashe Courage Award?
I don't know, maybe it's just me. But if I was Caitlyn, I would graciously decline the award and hand it over to one of our wounded soldiers or someone who is battling cancer.
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