I do judge people, but only on things they can fix - like prejudices
American Culture, Progress, & Caitlyn Jenner
June 9, 2015
I don't know about you, but I'm still seeing posts along the lines of "while you were preoccupied with #CaitlynJenner, this this this and this happened" with some ultimate reference to priorities. Yes, other news happened. Other news happens every day. Yes, ISIS was created by the West. Yes, Akon is bringing electricity to millions in Africa (hurray!!). And Caitlyn Jenner's story does not take away from the other news stories.
I take issue with these people and these statements for 2 reasons. In making the statements about our national priorities, these people are discounting the HUGE cultural impact of Caitlyn's very public transition. Caitlyn Jenner is a decathalon champion. She has lived a very public life for decades, and is just now finding peace with her life. Now, everyone is talking about how huge her transition is for the LGBTQ community and other people who are transitioning or realizing that they don't live a gender normative life. This is also huge news, because Caitlyn is another very public very famous person to whom people can turn for inspiration and acceptance. This, in and of itself, is helping to reshape and redefine American culture to be more inclusive, accepting, and progressive. But here's the kicker for me - Caitlyn Jenner came out...as a Republican. This is HUGE to me. If the Republican party embraces her and the LGBTQ community, the party can change, and we can begin to see even more dynamic transitions in our country. Caitlyn's transition is another small cog in the machine that is helping our nation to become more American.
Second point. By diminishing Caitlyn's transition and the cultural impact it has, you are diminishing the narrative of the struggles of the LGBTQ community. If you are black and you are diminishing this narrative, you are complicit in the very thing that Fox News etc is directing toward Black America. With each young black person who is brutalized and/or killed by corrupt officers or abused by the "justice" system, there is a chorus of people saying "while you were preoccupied with #MikeBrown,#FreddieGray, #RekiaBoyd, #DajerriaBecton, this this this and this happened". You are aiding the discourse that refuses to change and refuses to accept a redefinition of American culture.
I expect better of you. You should expect better of yourselves. The struggles and victories (however great or small) of any marginalized community speak to the broader narrative of American Progress.