It seems I need to explain myself a bit concerning yesterday’s post about Caitlyn Jenner. I apparently offended a friend of mine because he felt I was belittling the transition procedure for those with gender dysphoria by “unfairly comparing it to elective surgery.” This was not my intent. I am very aware how difficult the process is for those who suffer from gender dysphoria.
The fear of not being able to be yourself or the pain that comes from looking in the mirror and seeing someone other than who you truly are must be intense. There are plenty of statistics about the tragedies that befall the trans community: some people would rather commit suicide than live in the wrong body; other people would rather kill their trans neighbors than accept them for who they are.
Obviously the war for equality is still ongoing.
I in no way was trying to insinuate that their transition and the hardships they endure are not extreme. My reason for yesterday’s post was to illustrate that sometimes we do more harm than good by creating labels, or glorifying one person’s experience over another’s.
Yes, Caitlyn Jenner has given a face to those who have felt faceless, and this is a very positive development for the trans community. However, she is hardly the first celebrity to undergo the transition. Remember Chaz Bono?
What about Lana Wachowski?
The only thing that makes Caitlyn’s transition different is that she is the first celebrity to be linked to a tremendously famous Reality Television family: the Kardashians.
I have no doubt that Caitlyn Jenner underwent this procedure for valid reasons. My friend the Olde Man said a time or three that he was not a fan of Bruce Jenner, but that he couldn’t believe that Bruce’s transition into Caitlyn could possibly be a publicity stunt because who would put themselves through such a thing just for publicity? It’s a valid point, and you can tell by the look on Caitlyn’s face that she is much happier being in her true body.
Now, I would never, NEVER, belittle someone’s transition, if it were for valid reasons. And as we just established, I think Caitlyn’s reasons were valid.
Having said that, does anybody remember the recent drama surrounding girls seriously injuring themselves in order to get Kylie Jenner’s lips?
It was called the #KylieJennerLipChallenge and girls all over the world were sticking their lips into shot glasses and sucking in the air to force blood into their lips to create the sultry pout that Kylie Jenner swore up and down was natural and not some form of elective cosmetic surgery.
And then there’s the Kim Kardashian “look alike” guy. This man spent over $150K in order to make himself look like Kim K… Unsuccessfully, might I add.
Obviously, people will do absolutely insane things to be like the Kardashian/Jenner clan. There is no legislation to keep people from doing these dumb things (nor should there be), and obviously the doctors aren’t looking out for their patients. Or at least not for their sense of dignity. Years from now, when the Kardashians are no longer an important group, people who have undergone surgery will be stuck like that. Oh the humiliation!
Yesterday’s post was motivated by my fear that one day, in the future (and maybe not even that far in the future), people will be able to undergo gender altering surgery in order to become more like their favorite celebrity. Especially since Caitlyn’s cover (which is probably, most definitely photshopped) made her look so very glamorous. Not all people look like supermodels after undergoing gender reassignment surgery. And for some, there’s a bit of practice that goes into becoming not just a woman, but a lady! Turns out there’s a school for that…
*I can think of some ciswomen who could use this training as well…
It’s not that I think trans-people are broken, but rather that society is damaged, and by constantly focusing on what makes us different instead of what makes us similar, we aren’t making it any better.
To me, Caitlyn isn’t a trans-woman, she’s just a woman. Chaz isn’t a trans-man, he’s just a man. I’m not a cis-woman, I’m just a woman. And we’re all just people.
Isn’t that the goal of all the different civil rights movements? To treat people like people? To not be seen differently because we are black or white or Asian or Jewish or Muslim or gay or straight or cis or trans?