Thoughts about Caitlyn Jenner

Well, by now I’m sure a lot of people are aware that the person formerly known to the world as one Mr Bruce Jenner is to be known as Ms Caitlyn Jenner.

Bravo.

Sincerely. I mean, why not?

Is it her fault she’s someone people have heard of? (I hadn’t until this whole trans suspicion business began in the past months, but I’m still trying to figure out who the Karadashians are and why anyone cares … seriously, I don’t know this) No, so the trans people upset the media is giving her attention … target it at the media, not her.

BUT I would like to point out:

  1. Ms Cox got all this attention first, so a win for racial trans visibility, yes?
  2. She’s apparently a well respected athelete and celebrity. This is great. You can’t deny things took a turn for the better when Ellen & Neil Patrick Harris both came out: people find it hard to support laws that create suffering for such beloved people.
  3. At this point any positive visibility is good visibility.  First Time, then … was it GQ with that trans hunk recently (sorry his name escapes me so Googling very unhelpful) was in/on … now Vanity Fair?!  Fingers crossed to see one of our gorgeous trans sisters in Playboy (now wouldn’t that be a serious acceptance win!)

In other countries maybe you can change people’s minds with reason and politics.  In America, though, you change it with pop culture and celebrity.  No one cares about the Supreme Court case, they care what Kanye West had on his Wheaties.  They care about the equality cases if it affects them, if they think it affects them (yes, I’m looking at you religious right), or if a beloved celeb cares.  So by a reversal:  Ellen cares and so does Mr Takei so millions of people do care.

It is a good idea to fight this creepy obsession that the US has with its celebrities, but that’s a separate battle.  In the mean time it is a tool to be embraced.  Misses Jenner, Cox, Mock, et al help just by being people that give us a face.  

Should the media be paying more attention to wars, political corruption, LGBT+ discrimination, etc?  Of course!  But they won’t.  CNN once upon a time would have hardly spent 5 minutes of their loop on Caitlyn, yesterday she was 95% of 2hrs broadcast.  

These are our vessels to make things better.  Can’t get the conversation onto homelessness in LGBT youth?  Let one of them bring that up (thank you for that Ms Cox).  Or let the public opinion shift by their visibility breaking down people’s perceptions and this reducing the discrimination that leads to those ugly numbers.  As far as I’ve noticed watching the stats, the more gay/lesbian celebrities who’re out the lower the ugly homosexuality stats get.  Are they great?  No!  Better just means not as terrible as last time.

So, yes, I applaud her.  I shake my head at the news for their treatment of her – especially the disrespect from conservative news – but more than that I hang my head for the LGBT disrespect she got.  Wealth makes the cosmetic stuff easier, but it doesn’t mean her struggle with herself was any less real or hard than for anyone else … her celebrity status could even have made that worse.  Let her be welcomed with a lovely photoshoot and some news coverage, be happy for her, then move on with important matters afterward and with a new name on the list of faces with a certain power that may be the crucial leverage to enact some change.

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12 thoughts on “Thoughts about Caitlyn Jenner

  1. Caroline Cossey did a Playboy pictorial in 1991, becoming the first transwomen to appear in that magazine; that happened not long after I left the company. (I wasn’t out then.) I imagined we’re going to see more and more of this in the next few years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, awesome! While I can’t say I’m too surprised, Hef’s always been a pretty progressive guy, I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little bit surprised. I’d have thought there’d have been too much fear of their readership objecting over much.

      Looks like she was in it in 1981 as well.

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      • Caroline had been a professional model by that time, and the word was also out that she had been an extra in “The Spy Who Loves Me.” Getting her in the magazine was a nice marketing ploy at the time.

        And since I’d been working at Playboy a few years before that (a programmer in the Chicago HQ), I do know that it was Christie Hefner, the CEO, who made the decision. At that time Hef’s influence was to go over the photos and decided on who was the centerfold and who was Playmate of the Year. He’d handed everything else over to his daughter when he moved west. Christie was extremely progressive as well, so still kudos on this one.

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        • Oh right. I forgot he’d given the company control over to Christie. Or was thinking that was more recently for no reason that makes sense.

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            • Oh that is really awesome. I’ve heard most all of the Hefners are really amazing people. I’ve always really wanted to get the opportunity to, at the very least, meet Hef; heard he is the poster child for a true gentleman and an amazingly fun but gracious, genuine, and down-to-earth guy.

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              • I never got invited to the Mansion, but I had a couple of friends who were. I did become sorta friends with the head of photography, so I was able to get into that department, which you could only enter by going through three secure doors that could only open one at a time unless a “panic switch” was thrown on the inside, and that had to be first activated by the fire alarm. I got to see a lot of the pictures heading into the magazine well before the (then) airbrushing took place.

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                • I’ve no words for how jealous I am right now.

                  That sounds a perfectly amazing job. Well, place to work. I know how to program, but I hate doing it. But plenty of other things to do at the HQ of such a major media empire.

                  Like

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