We didn’t see the Bruce Jenner Diane Sawyer interview. No disrespect to Bruce Jenner, but we don’t spend our evenings watching prime time television. Today, however, we did come across some articles about the Hollywood public’s reaction to the interview. And we read some comments from members of the general public responding to the Hollywood public’s reaction. It was all very interesting. We’re dubbing it the Bruce Jenner Diane Sawyer interview over-reaction.
On the one hand you have all these celebrities appearing to be on a higher plain of tolerance and understanding than everyone else in the world. Judging from their tweets, they all seem to be of one highly enlightened mind. They all understand. They all love. They all support. None of them would feel awkward if they ran into Bruce Jenner at an event and he was wearing a dress and stiletto heels. Because they’re just supremely cool like that.
On the other hand you have the regular folk. Among them are those who echo the sentiments of the celebrities. Then there are the others. The ones who don’t understand. They think if you’re born a man you’ll die a man no matter if your anatomical parts at death are those of a woman. They think wearing women’s clothing just means you’re confused. They write comments that get classified as hate speech because their comments are not allied with the tweets of celebs who are calling Bruce Jenner a hero. These ‘haters’ say Bruce Jenner is not a hero. They don’t clap for him because they don’t agree that by talking publicly about his journey, he is doing something for which to be applauded.
Why we think the ‘haters’ can do more to bring people closer to truly understanding and accepting transgenderism
We are just ordinary people. We’re not going to pretend to be at such a height of enlightened consciousness that nothing confuses us. The truth is we don’t understand what it means to be transgender. We do understand that we are the one with a problem of not understanding. A transgendered person doesn’t have to justify being transgendered to us. It is not on them to help us understand their life. It is on us to bring ourselves to that point of understanding. But how can we if we’re not allowed to openly discuss our thoughts for the purpose of getting over the hurdle of our ignorance?
Questions are good. Discussion is good. Blind acceptance isn’t true acceptance. True acceptance can only come from true understanding.
But can you have true understanding without discussion or without living an experience firsthand?
Following the Bruce Jenner Diane Sawyer interview, you have all these people who have not walked in the shoes of a transgendered person clapping and cheering and acting like they’re 100% behind Bruce Jenner. But let them have to deal more directly and more personally with the issue. It might not be quite so easy to accept and adjust when it’s their own father, brother, husband, son who after decades of living life as a man decides to transition and start living life as a woman. They might find themselves struggling just a little bit to really understand. Doesn’t mean they won’t support their loved one. Doesn’t mean they won’t accept their loved one’s choice. But they might struggle a bit to really and truly understand. And shouldn’t that be okay?
Shouldn’t it be okay if some people don’t understand? Wouldn’t it be better all around if people could say, you know what, love is indeed all that matters. And you have my love. You have my support 100%. But I’m confused. I don’t really understand. I have questions. I have doubts. I know my questions and my doubts are my problem. They don’t change your truth. And I’m not looking to change your truth. I’m trying to understand so that I can sincerely and wholeheartedly accept of your truth–not just say that I accept it.
From ABCNews – “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman,” Jenner told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview that aired Friday in a special two-hour edition of ABC News’ “20/20.”
“People look at me differently. They see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul and everything that I do in life — it is part of me,” Jenner, 65, said. “That female side is part of me. That’s who I am.”
“I look at it this way—Bruce always telling a lie. He’s lived a lie his whole life about who he is. And I can’t do that any longer,” Jenner said.
“My brain is much more female than it is male,” he added. “It’s hard for people to understand that, but that’s what my soul is.” (source article)
Bruce Jenner wants to change the world; but he probably won’t. Because people aren’t really talking about transgenderism for the purpose of understanding the transgendered individual. You have the ones who won’t allow themselves to admit to feeling any discomfort at the thought that someone close to them might suddenly announce they will be undergoing a gender transformation. Then you have the others who are not willing to believe that someone can indeed be born one gender but “in their soul” be the opposite gender. These two groups have no interest in discussions that have as their purpose a mission to bring about better understanding of transgendered life. One group prefers to pretend like there is nothing to talk about. As far as they’re concerned it’s all love and good vibrations. And they will shame anyone who doesn’t hop on board their bandwagon. The other group operates with an impenetrable closed-mindedness. There is no way to change their view regardless how powerful an argument you make. Both groups are just pushy enough to make the people in the middle afraid to talk either way.
That leaves a large section of society misguided and misinformed about the facts where being transgendered is concerned. And it leaves the ordinary transgendered individual still living a lie for fear of shame of what results from living in a society where people just don’t understand who they are and can’t accept how they live.
Good for Bruce Jenner but…
We say good for Bruce Jenner for choosing no longer to hide. But we can’t see his interview contributing to a positive change in society. Because society has been built on some very strict and unyielding ideas about what constitutes normalcy. And depending upon how well the brain-washing goes starting from infancy, it can be very difficult for people to wrap their head around things that seem to veer from the ideas they’re taught to be representative of normalcy.
How can you blame people for thinking the way they were taught them to think from birth? If change is to happen, people need to discuss and debate their opposing beliefs. They need to do this openly and respectfully of each other. Because the person who doesn’t understand transgenderism is as much a victim of society’s inculcated beliefs as the transgendered person him or herself.
So we think maybe a little honesty goes a longer way towards change than jumping on the bandwagon and gushing about how much you love Bruce Jenner because had the courage to risk mass ridicule. That seems to be the real basis of the Bruce Jenner Diane Sawyer interview over-reaction. People are just filled with admiration that, in this society where people are ever ready and eager to tear someone apart for veering away from the norm, Bruce Jenner had the courage to admit that he is a woman in his soul, mind and heart and that he is in the process of becoming a woman in his body. Their support of Bruce does not necessarily reflect their thoughts and feelings with regard to the whole transgender debate.