Monday, July 20, 2015

Dear Internet, : Caitlyn Jenner

Dear Internet,

There is no argument that every single individual in our armed forces deserves an award for #courage. All of our men and women in uniform should get the recognition they deserve. Just because people disagree with Caitlyn Jenner receiving this award (a retired transgender Olympian making a very public transition and being open about it is quite courageous. So is standing up for what you believe in. So is being a soldier. And a police officer. And a firefighter. And an individual. Or a volunteer doctor in a foreign country. The list goes on.) doesn't mean she isn't worthy of it. We could discuss people who are more deserving of a courage award until we die but that doesn't do anything for anyone. This award was given to a person who deserved it at a time when we, as humans, need to acknowledge that this is a courageous act. Being ok with the otherness that this topic is soaked in is sorely needed. The transgender community faces the injustices of a prejudice society every day. Something "different" gets put in front of us and we lose our fucking minds and throw the closest, heaviest thing at it. Isn't that what we all have to put up with? Something we all have to fight? Our otherness? Whether it's our race, religion, a disability, a deformity, our sexual orientation, or gender, everything is something "different" to someone who doesn't know it. When was the last time you were a ridiculously famous retired transgender Olympian having a very public sex change while the media ate you alive? Oh, never? Courage comes in all forms. 

My point is, the only reason that the Internet has anything to say about this is because she used to be a he and for some reason that is too much otherness for us to handle. Why not give the award to one of the thousands of children fighting cancer? Or your local crossing guard? Or fucking anyone else battling something bigger than themselves? 

This exists. There will always be something "different" for some of us to fight for simply not being what we're used to. What the Internet has shown me in the last week has been bullying on a grand scale. And it is disappointing. 

“If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there, coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.” -Caitlyn Jenner 

Caitlyn Jenner has taken a huge swing at the intolerance and ignorance that surrounds the transgender community. That takes courage.

Furthermore, "An #ESPY Award (short for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) is an accolade presented by the American cable television network #ESPN to recognize individual and teamathletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year preceding a given annual ceremony." (Wikipedia) 

Last time I checked, war isn't a sport for our enjoyment. Caitlyn Jenner was an Olympian which makes her a candidate. Because... Sports. I'm sure our Armed Forces have prestigious awards and medals to bestow upon our most beloved and respected persons in uniform that are much more coveted to our military than a goddamn cable television network award. 

Oh? Not about the award, you say? It's about what courage means? Oh, ok. Let's talk about courage. Courage is defined as, "The ability to do something that frightens one. Strength in the face of pain or grief." Translation? Doing something that can or will hurt you because you know it's right. 

Now, I'm going to ask you to stand in front of literally millions of people, on an international platform, and proclaim your otherness. Everyone will know something about you that you have spent the entirety of your life hiding from the world for fear of persecution, prejudice, and hate. The announcement of this intimate detail about who you are helps countless others, just like you, feel better about being in their own skin. You are standing up for yourself and for anyone like you to try to help rid our society of this prejudice that surrounds us. But you aren't courageous. No no, you're too different. You're weird so you can't be courageous. Courage is for what's considered normal and familiar.

Is anyone else seeing how this doesn't make sense? Or is it just me? If we replace "transgender awareness" with "equal rights" would it make a difference? Could you imagine being so overthrown by the inner workings of your soul that you are compelled to become something other than what you are, or you will never be whole? This leads to unnecessary suicides. Can you imagine that the prejudice of who you are leads to violence and hate? You can't imagine that? Then be quiet. Be still. Keep your belligerence to yourself and live as you will. But you have no say here. Hate has no place in our future.

Do the men and women of our Armed Forces deserve to be shrouded in medals of honor for their courage? Absolutely. But how dare you complain about an Olympic athlete receiving a sports related award for courage while you simultaneously tolerate the fact that our veterans are living in poverty. They are starving, they're homeless, and they endure years of mental and physical illnesses. Do you house our veterans? Do you donate and volunteer? No? How dare you complain about a television award while being unwilling to help those whom you presume to "defend"?

"Liking" and "sharing" is easy but taking action requires courage, and that is exactly what Caitlyn Jenner did. She took action. She took a stand against the prejudice that envelopes the transgender community. She has made herself into a beacon for us to look to for her unique example in a world saturated in ignorance. To that I say, well done Ms. Jenner! The Internet needs to spend a little less time making memes and a little more time working on making the world a better place. 

#JustSayin #ThankYouCait #LGBT #RantFin #OwMyThumbs