Bruce Jenner’s path to womanhood has been highly polarizing. You either don’t give a shit, or you’re extremely supportive.
The one thing that’s for certain is that in a time where pretty much everyone posts every trivial thought that pops in their head on social media, Jenner was going to get universal acceptance.
Because of that openness, everyone is expected to be politically correct. Especially about human rights issues.
Having the ability to determine your gender identity is indeed a human rights issue, just like choosing your sexual orientation. And since we don’t live in Soviet Russia post World War II, then human rights are fully expected to be honored. And if they’re not, then people will let you know about it.
In today’s age of political correctness, Bashing someone for their gender identity in 2015 is akin to bashing someone for being gay, or for the color of their skin. And it doesn’t even have to bashing per say, but just anything that’s not supportive is considered taboo.
Look no further than Nickeloden star Drake Bell, who Tweeted, “Sorry … Still calling you Bruce” shortly after the Vanity fair cover released. It’s not particularly malicious at all. And yet, people were outraged.
You just can’t voice your opinion anymore if it’s not aligned with popular thought. Even if you’re just making a joke.
And now the word “tranny,” typically a derogatory term or the butt of a joke, has taken on a whole new meaning. Tranny jokes just won’t be OK soon anymore, except at Comedy Central roasts. And that’s a little sad.
Changing your gender when you’re already somebody who is in the public eye is obviously takes bravery. You know it’s going to be talked about incessantly on a national level, and you lose all sense of privacy. It’s also courageous to be the first culturally significant person to do it.
ESPN recognized that, and chose Jenner to be the recipient of its Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the 2015 ESPY Awards, which has sparked a bit of controversy in itself. Some believe ESPN should have chosen 19-year-old college basketball player, Lauren Hill, who battled cancer during the season before her death in April.
Fighting cancer, one can argue, takes more courage that undergoing a voluntary surgery.
But let’s face it. Jenner’s star factor was a big reason why ESPN chose him. It makes a greater splash.
Ten years ago, a celebrity transgender would not be as widely accepted as it is now. Who knows, it may have even been denounced. But now we have Twitter, and Facebook, and everybody has to at least say the right thing, even if they don’t fully believe it.
Who knows what’s next?
Maybe, in five years, we’ll even start accepting bloggers as people.