Caitlyn, Zoey & Co.: Beyond the paparazzi

Being chased by the paparazzi often comes with the turf when you are a celebrity -- whether you like it or not. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Being chased by the paparazzi often comes with the turf when you are a celebrity — whether you like it or not. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

By Dianne Skoll
LGBT Perspectives columnist

OTTAWA — Caitlyn Jenner. There, I said it. I’ve studiously avoided discussing Caitlyn Jenner until now because I hate the paparazzi culture. I honestly don’t understand why people assume that they can give someone they don’t even know advice on how to live just because she’s famous.

Jenner as well as other high-profile transgender people such as Laverne Cox, Andreja Pejic, Kristin Beck, Chelsea Manning and Chaz Bono have contributed to unprecedented mainstream coverage of transgender issues. And, of course, with this coverage come the complaints of “I don’t want to hear about this!” or “Aren’t there more important things to talk about?”

Well, one can talk about many things. Just because you talk about transgender issues, it doesn’t mean you don’t talk about anything else. And I think it’s important to have lots of coverage of transgender people. Here’s why:

We have Caitlyn Jenner, a person whom the pundits predicted would exploit her situation and generate a cheesy media circus. Instead, we’ve seen someone with grace reveal her strength, her articulate and thoughtful manner, and her dignity.

We have Zoey Tur, someone who recently got into hot water because of her angry reaction to persistent, hostile misgendering. She came across as a little bit of a hothead.

We have Chelsea Manning, who (depending on your politics) is either a hero or a traitor.

We have transgender actresses, engineers, models and businesspeople. We also have petty thieves and prostitutes. We have warm, loving and generous people, and we have impetuous and brash people.

And the more we can get the diversity of transgender people across, the better it is.  Because there will come a day when average people look at us all and say “Wow, they are smart and dumb, generous and petty, calm and hot-headed … just like any other people.”

Just like any other people. Those are the words we long to hear. And anyone uttering those words will have expanded his or her moral circle to include more of the human family.


“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey


4 thoughts on “Caitlyn, Zoey & Co.: Beyond the paparazzi”

  1. Even if it’s a carefully orchestrated, for profit venture, good for her! Especially if some of her wealth is donated to support transgender people who need it most and/or the advancement of transgender rights and equality for all.

    Back when Caitlyn was still known as Bruce, news of her appointment at a private clinic for a tracheal shave was leaked. Trashy media was all over her. Crazy speculation and mocking ensued. Her very personal journey had entered a new phase and was being made public, with or without her consent and with no regards at all for her privacy or well-being. She couldn’t then and can’t really now live her life free from the paparazzi. Given all this, power to her to control her story as she wants!


    1. The reviews I’m seeing so far — from TV critics who have seen the first instalment — is that it is quite well done. I won’t get to see it because my TV service provider doesn’t carry the E! Network, so I won’t be able to critique it firsthand. But readers who see it will be able to talk about it starting tomorrow night.

      Liked by 1 person

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