Last Friday night, the transgendered people added a new high-profile member to their community. Around 16.9 million viewers tuned into Diane Sawyer’s 20/20 interview with Bruce Jenner. In the interview the former Olympic gold medalist and stepfather of the Kardashian family told the world that he identifies as a woman and is currently making the transition to become a woman.
Now all one can hope is that the media coverage and interest this announcement garnered will open people’s eyes to truly view the struggles and scrutiny that transgender people face, and what changes can be made to help support/ease their transition into their new identities.
The interview between Sawyer and Jenner did a wonderful job of highlighting reoccurring themes that transgender folks deal with on a daily basis. Things such as fear of rejection from loved ones, identity/gender confusion, feelings of loneliness or isolation, harassment, mistreatment, and discrimination; all which can lead those individuals to suffer from depression and contemplate or, in tragic cases, execute suicide.
Jenner was very adamant that for himself, as for many of the transgender community, the self acceptance and acceptance from those around you that come with gender transition is a lifelong task.
Bruce Jenner has certainly helped put a human face on the emotional challenges that faced him, and in a bigger picture affect many transgender people. All one can hope is that he can be the active figure that can help bring acceptance and equality to this community, given he is now the most famous openly transgender person in America , because the “T” of LGBT has been the least talked about letter of the movement.
Do you think Bruce Jenner coming out will be a step forward in bringing to light issues of the transgender community, similar to how Ellen DeGeneres has been highlighting the issues plaguing the gay and lesbian community on a national platform?