This video showing how children react to Caitlyn Jenner‘s transition is making me tear up with happiness, as I think about a world that is more accepting of the trans community.
The children who participated in the focus group video were presented with two pictures.
The first was a photo of a muscular 1976 Bruce Jenner in all his Olympic glory and the second a photo of Caitlyn Jenner in a red dress from her recent photo spread in Vanity Fair.
They were then told the photos showed the same person.
While one child said, “How could a boy turn into a girl? That’s impossible,” the conversation eventually turned into one of acceptance.
One child saying…
It’s important to be yourself because if you’re not yourself, then who are you?”
The kids were also shown some of the reaction, both positive and negative, to Jenner on social media.
They looked at each other in astonishment when read a tweet, which read:
Bruce Jenner is a sick man and I don’t need a psychiatrist to tell me Bruce Jenner has a mental disorder.”
Several had thoughtful and mature reactions.
I think they’re just scared of change, I think they just want everything to stay the same because they just don’t know how to handle it. It’s important for you to be yourself because if you’re not yourself then who are you?”
When Olympic gold medal winner and reality TV star, Bruce Jenner, recently came out as trans in an interview with Diane Sawyer – we knew there would be some backlash. But one key person to show their support is Ellen DeGeneres
Moments after the interview, she tweeted her support at the time, saying Jenner was a “beautiful, brave human being”.
Bruce Jenner is a beautiful, brave human being. Sending him lots of love. He's saving lives and opening minds tonight.
Ellen DeGeneres is no stranger to addressing a sensitive topic in the public eye after coming out as gay in 1997, and the talk show host addressed the information, along with the reception of it, in her usual wonderful way.
It was an amazing interview, it’s very hard to reveal what you’ve been hiding. I know there’s been a lot of jokes and I think when people feel uncomfortable or they don’t understand something that’s how they deal with it, they make jokes, it’s very childish and I think those people are poo poo heads.
Even if you don’t understand it, you’ve got to admire someone who is willing to risk ridicule and tell the truth. Everyone has something that makes them feel different and like they don’t belong I hope we can all learn to co-exist and stop judging each other.”
She concluded on a simple note,
Let’s face it: the world would be a nicer place if we focused on what we had in common instead of what makes us different because we all want the same thing—we want love, we want acceptance and we want the new Apple watch. That’s all we want.
I hope we can all learn to coexist and stop judging each other, I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, less judging, more dancing.”
In coming out as a transgender woman, U.S. Olympic gold medalist and TV reality star Bruce Jenner made clear that while he is keen to help raise awareness about problems faced by the trans* community, he is not self-appointing himself as a spokesman.
I would like to work with this community to get this message out. They know a lot more than I know. I am not a spokesman for the community.”
During a groundbreaking interview, Jenner made a case for the transgender community’s fight in the United States for equality, a safer society and more acceptance and understanding – in Washington, in church, in the media.
In the last few years, the community’s visibility has been on the rise, with hollywood beginning to embrace transgender characters and storylines in TV shows like Transparent and Orange Is the New Black.
Mainstream acceptance of transgender people is in its infancy, making the transition hard for everyone, whether famous like Jenner or not. However, by now putting such a well-known face and name to the causes of transgender people could help accelerate the drive for equality, just as high-profile endorsements gave momentum to the fight to legalise gay marriage in the United States.
Barbara Warren, a psychologist and director for LGBT Health Services at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, said the following
The more people that are prominent and are influencers and can share and humanise the transgender experience, the more our social system will become more accepting.”
The legal system in the USA is still lagging, and legal rights of transgender people vary dramatically from state to state. Gender identity discrimination affects employment, public accommodations – the right to be served by businesses and institutions – the use of public restrooms and public documents.
Healthcare is also an area of concern. In most states, it is legal to deny insurance coverage for transgender-related health services, like hormonal therapy or gender reassignment surgery.
Jenner is now seen as “the best possible model for public advocacy on the issue of transgender people’s rights because he was the world’s greatest male athlete … the most male of males.”
Jenner won the Olympic decathlon in 1976, earning the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete” and the respect of generations of Americans.
For younger generations, he is known better as the patriarch of the Kardashian family after eight seasons on the reality TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
The ABC interview included messages of support from his six biological children and he said his Kardashian stepchildren have been mostly understanding, including the wildly famous Kim.
How his transition plays out on television could be the real game-changer for the transgender community.
Barbara Warren concluded…
I think that actually has the potential for more impact than Jenner’s individual transition. People are going to see if Kim Kardashian supports her stepfather. That is going to have more of an impact than Jenner’s coming out.”
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