Listen up, everybody: “If you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable,” and you are not a good image or role model for the transgender community. You need to be “authentic,” see . . .
You need to look like Caitlyn Jenner, see, or at least the way she sees herself, i.e. glamor girl (never mind that some in the conservative right-wing world in the U.S. still consider her to be a man in a dress — see Breitbart — and will never, ever accept trans people no matter how they look).
Sigh . . . I refer you to an excellent article by Alex Rees in Cosmopolitan, from which I gleaned this latest info attributed to the transgender demolition derby that is Caitlyn Jenner. Apparently, Jenner gave an interview to Time magazine in which, Alex says, she expressed some transphobic stereotypes.
Right-wingers in the U.S. must be rubbing their hands in glee: Jenner may be doing more damage to the transgender community than they could ever do. Surely they see her as a conservative operative working undercover, a champion of their transphobia and right-wing propaganda, a gift from their Almighty exclusionary supernatural being.
But what about all the people who’ve hopped on board the Jenner bandwagon? Are they so blinded by the Hollywood glamor that they can’t see the damage being done to the trans community? Why do they stay on board that bandwagon?
And it’s not just the trans community that is being belittled here: what about “biological” women who don’t look so hot in a dress and are making the people Jenner reportedly refers to uncomfortable (i.e. right-wing patriarchs who haven’t evolved from the 1950s yet)? How many feminists puked when they read those misogynistic comments about how appearance authenticates womanhood (yes, I am puking now)?
I could go on and on here. I could rant all day. But Alex’s article says it all.
But I want to add this: it is time for organizations like GLAAD and others — i.e. media — to make it clear to the world that Caitlyn Jenner is not a spokesperson for the greater transgender community, and to stop portraying her as one.
And it’s time for Caitlyn and the media to consider the consequences of their words: how many people today have a more negative view of not-so-glamorous transgender women because of what Caitlyn said and because Time editors chose to print those words? How many think it is OK to feel uncomfortable when a not-so-glamorous transgender woman is around them? How many will take that to mean they can belittle those not-so-glamorous transgender women, laugh at them, bully them, beat them up, even kill them? How many will look at not-so-glamorous “biological” women the same way?
Indeed, how many people’s minds have been infected by the statements Time chose to print? And how many will see them as the shallow comments that they are, and will remember the following lesson from grade school:
Moral 101 of the story: Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and it is far more than skin-deep. This is elementary school stuff. Most people don’t give a damn how you look. They care about what they see in your eyes, what they feel from your heart and what they hear from your mind. They care about the selfless love you give to the world (re: see The Beatles).
So, dear trans sisters out there, don’t let Caitlyn Jenner’s shallow, self-absorbed words get you down. I know many of you, and you are beautiful souls. Be yourselves, and present yourselves in any way that makes you feel comfortable, just like everyone else does. That’s the great thing about living in 2015 vs. living in 1952: you can pretty much dress any way you like — in the West, at least.
— Jillian Page