If you haven’t watched Caitlyn Jenner’s speech at the ESPYS as she accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, you HAVE to.
It's probably the MOST important moment of her entire life (yet). Not just because it's her first time on a red carpet and on stage as herself and not Bruce. But the fact that she is also taking ESPN, along with the entire sporting world and the media with her on this gargantuan and momentous step is both mind blowing and heartening at the same time.
Her speech was in my opinion the most honest and moving. Caitlyn touched on very important and crucial points about the struggles of being a trans person, and why we all need to work together to make life easier and better for the trans community.
Honestly, over these past months, I have become a fan of her. I am very supportive of her message, and her will and determination to do something for a very under-privileged and often misunderstood group of people in society. I can also relate to her fears and pains of being in the closet. Even though I'm not trans, as a gay man I have countless experiences with bullies and haters, with the stress of coming out to friends and family and in public, with self-hate, self-doubt, and the list goes on.
To me and so many others, whether lesbian, gay, bi, trans, curious and etc., Caitlyn's standing in the media, and the message she's bringing to the masses mean the world. Perhaps this is why every time I see a piece of news discussing what Caitlyn Jenner's wearing I get so fucking pissed.
Take this time's ESPYS for instance:
Like, I do understand that fashion is a huge money-making business, and what Caitlyn wore — very importantly, what brand — may actually be a quiet business move.
But I also wonder, if she were to be up on stage as Bruce, would people actually care about what's worn?
With this question, I come to the sad realisation of how the society/media so unfairly treats women. We often care more about how a woman looks than anything else that she has achieved.
Of course not.
But to focus so much on that makes us forget that women are more than just skin and waistline and the right amount of contouring.
It makes women themselves forget that they are worth more than the clothes they wear and the makeup they put on.
I remember this comment that Jon Stewart made that brings us straight to the brutal truth of how the society treats its women:
To make things worse, our society sexualises and objectifies the bodies of LGBT people, who are often faced with questions like,
"Who's the man and who's the woman in the relationship? What about in bed?"
"Top or bottom?"
"So, how do two girls have sex?"
And probably the most annoying question for every trans person:
"What have you got done, and what have you not?"
While we should give people the benefit of a doubt — most of them who ask this sort of questions do not carry the worst of intentions and are simply curious/interested — I think the more important and pertinent issue here is to educate them about what means and feels like to be LGBT, and to direct them to ways in which they could help to increase the level of acceptance of LGBT people in society.
I doubt so.
But whether you are a supporter or a hater, you can't deny that Caitlyn Jenner is doing something of great significance. Something that could be saving thousands of lives all over the world.
So whether is it Valentino gown or a Versace dress, I don't fucking care.
Will the world be a better place because of Caitlyn Jenner?
Well the truth is, there are still many people who do not see the significance of her actions. Of her — the previous model of all-American masculinity — publicly standing up as a transgender who had lived in the closet for the past sixty odd years.
The root of it? Because people still don't see that
LGBT Lives MATTER.
In fact, some of them treat LGBT people as invisible, and they hope that we stay that way for as long and as far as possible.
Because they don't know what we go through, and perhaps, they don't even care. Indeed, even the most educated can be the most ignorant. And even the most loving can be the most judgmental.
But Change is coming.
And to all the LGBT youths who are going through a rough patch right now, whether with their family or their peers in school:
Wait it out, okay? Be patient. Persevere on! For the better days have yet to come.
This original story can be found here on Medium.