Last week, social media was ablaze with one thing: Caitlyn Jenner made her stunning debut.
For me, Caitlyn’s transition isn’t about fame (dare I say it) or fortune; it’s not about TV ratings or the Kardashians; forget the Twitter records and the courage awards; it’s not even about sexual orientation (whom Jenner decides to sleep with).
It’s about the freedom to just be.
In April, when Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer, I sat in front of my TV, indulging in some takeout beef and broccoli.
A part of me thought this was all a bunch of shit — Jenner just wanted attention. But right off the bat, it was clear that wasn’t true.
Call me emotional (because that’s what I’m supposed to be, as a woman, right?), but I was nearly in tears at the end of the two hours.
Here was a man, a praised man, who’d essentially gone through the motions of life for 65 years.
His body is physically that of a man; but his identity, his soul, is that of a woman.
I cannot imagine what that’s like. Sure, I do things every day I don’t want to. But I can’t begin to picture what it feels to live a lie — an unwanted secret — for nearly my entire life.
Over the past few years, the cameras have hounded Jenner for his physical changes, and he revealed in the ABC interview that he contemplated suicide as a result.
But upon Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair coverage, there was an overwhelming display of support; something most transgenders don’t get.
Prior to writing this, I curled up with A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which states that 90 percent of those surveyed experienced harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination on the job, 19 percent were refused a place to live due to their sexual identity, and 53 percent said they’d been verbally harassed in a public place.
Maybe I spent too much time with the hippies at Hangout Fest, but can we get a little peace and love ‘round here?
Sawyer touched on one question I keep hearing about regarding Jenner’s sex life: will Caitlyn go to bed with men or women?
The buzz (mainly insults) I hear regarding this makes me sick. For starters, whom anyone chooses to go to bed with is none of my business.
It seems like we’re only comfortable inside the lines, as we force people into boxes we can understand. From ethnicity to income, political stance to diet restrictions, and apparently whom we choose to love, are all things that must be defined in order to walk the streets.
These labels — white, democrat, middle class, carnivore, straight — make it easy for us to judge each other in a single word.
I’m over it.
I don’t care who Caitlyn Jenner, or any person, chooses to sleep with, or what they wear, or how they live their life.
We are all humans.
No one owes me an explanation for being themselves. I never had to tell my parents that I’m attracted to men, so I’m not sure why we make this huge deal about having to tell everyone the details of our sexual orientation.
I’ll shout it from the rooftops, “Let us be free! Let us live!”
Of course, Caitlyn is no ordinary transgender, with reports saying she’ll potentially profit $500 million from it all.
But in any case, she got the bottom-shelf conversation started, and that’s priceless.
So for that, I say, you go, girl.
Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover hits newsstands tomorrow; or check out a preview on Vanity Fair’s website.