What Will Bruce Jenner Do For the Future of the Transgender Community?


Bruce Jenner has made the term transgender one most of the world has been using with regularity in the past few months. And that is a huge deal for the transgender community. For those unsure, for those who simply do not know, and for those who think they know but might be mistaken, transgender is defined as, “denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender,” and it’s something that many people live their lives hiding. In this society, the concept of being ‘different’ is typically viewed as less than idea. Bruce Jenner is a man’s man, right? He’s an Olympic Gold Medalist, a successful man, the father of 10 kids (4 Kardashian stepkids and his own 6) and he’s been married several times. He’s an avid golfer, he loves to fly his helicopters and he’s always seemed like such a guy’s guy, but he’s not. He’s lived his entire life feeling more comfortable as a woman than he has a man, and he’s been living a lie. His interview with Diane Sawyer coming out as a woman and a transgender personality is going to change the world. And we will talk about that in a few.

No one wants to be different. For some reason, so many people in the world want to be just like everyone else. Perhaps they just want to fit in and never bother with their real identity because they don’t want to rock the boat. There is ‘normal’ and no one wants to be considered abnormal.

But the truth is this; normal is very personal. Normal is a perception. For example, my husband and I consider it normal to spend the vast majority of our time together rather than separately. We have more fun together than we do with anyone else and we gravitate toward others who feel the same way. That’s led us to a very wonderful group of friends we’ve had for the past decade who have the same values and ideals, and we have a ‘group’ of five couples who always spend time together – not the women together sometimes and the men together sometimes. We usually just do everything together. Our kids are always together; it’s just our normal. Other people can’t imagine spending time with their spouse’s friends or acquaintances. What I’m trying to say is this; we have our normal and you have your normal. With that said, who are we to say who is right and wrong or who is normal and abnormal? We all have our differences and those differences should be celebrated rather than condemned. I’m a Florida Gator all day, every day, for my entire life; you might be a Florida State Seminole (I’m so sorry) or you might adore some other team or you might hate college football all together (that’s not normal – sorry, couldn’t help it).

Differences are subjective and normal is not reality. For Bruce Jenner and the transgender community, identifying as a person of the opposite sex more so than the sex to which one was born is perfectly normal. There is nothing abnormal to the transgender community for a man to identify more as a woman and vice versa. It might seem different and abnormal to us, but imagine how the transgender community must feel about the rest of us? They might think it seems abnormal to just identify with the sex you were born since it’s not their reality. Like I said, it’s all subjective and all very personal. It’s not always been an easy road for the transgender community, either. Because the lifestyle of people who are transgender is not considered ‘normal’ life is often more difficult.

Imagine waking up each day and living life feeling as if you are lying to the world. No, you are lying to the world. You are telling the world that you are someone you are not, and it’s just not how people should have to live. We should all feel comfortable living our lives honestly. What Bruce Jenner did was singlehandedly change the face of the transgender community. Chances are very good that many people had no real idea what it was. Most people assume that transgendered people are just gay people, but this is not true. It’s not even remotely close to the same. Sure, some transgendered people are gay, but their sexuality is different from their personality. By announcing to the world that he is a woman, he brought attention to the transgender community that might seem as if it’s more negative than it is positive (since so many people are close-minded and unable to let people live their own lives) but it’s not negative. It’s changing the face.

Let’s look at other ‘different’ celebrities. There’s Ellen DeGeneres, who announced on national television she is gay and ended up thinking her career was shot because of it. Now she’s one of the most beloved and hilarious comedians in the world, and everyone adores her. She’s just a good person, and her sexuality has nothing to do with her good heart. When she came out to the world as a gay woman, it wasn’t very widely accepted so much as it is today. In fact, when a star or every day average Joe announces today that he or she is gay, no one really cares. Most people either already know, show a little bit of surprise and then total acceptance or don’t care at all. Others are completely against it, but it seems those numbers are dwindling rapidly.

Back then, it wasn’t normal to be gay because so many people hid their feelings and their lifestyles for fear of repercussion. And while DeGeneres is certainly is not the first celebrity to come out of the closet, she’s my favorite. The more and more people do it, the more and more others feel that they can do it, too. If Ellen can come out as gay and people still accept her, why can’t other people come out as gay? Even if people aren’t accepting of it, now people are more comfortable saying, “This is who I am,” and that’s that.

Like gay celebrities who spent most of their lives living a lie, transgender people do the same. They’re not telling people about their lives. They’re not telling people that they aren’t really who they are; they don’t know how people will react because it’s not something that gets much media attention.

Thanks to Bruce Jenner, however, the transgender community now has a spokesperson; a face. Someone people love and adore and look up to as a role model just came out and said he identifies more as a woman than a man, and has since he was a small child. That’s big time for the transgender community. This is going to cause so much more awareness to the issue in the world. And it’s certainly going to inspire some men and women, boys and girls to admit what they’ve always known and begin living their lives as the person they really are. How else has Bruce Jenner changed the face of the transgender community? We have just a few simple ways right here.


Anyone living a lie is now finding the motivation to stop. They might not get there just yet, but they’re motivated. If Bruce Jenner can face the entire world’s critics and acceptance, so can you. If the world can show such love and support to Jenner, so will your friends and family. It’s the motivation that people need to make their lives feel more comfortable and more accepting, and it’s all that people need to see that they can be more outspoken about their lives, too.


Now that Jenner has come out, it won’t be too long before other famous faces come out and admit the same thing. The transgender community is going to grown significantly in the next few years. What is shocking the world right now is not even going to make major headlines in the next few decades. It’s going to be a blurb in the entertainment industry, but it’s not going to make the kind of headlines that it’s making right now.


Think for just a moment what you would have considered a transgender man to look like before Bruce Jenner came forward as one. Just think about it and be entirely honest; chances are good that most of us have a completely crazy concept of what a transgender man looks like. I, for one, don’t know any. I’ve never really thought about it, but I’d immediately picture a cross-dressing man in a wig with big, bold makeup and a very RuPaul diva-like personality going on. I never, ever would have pictured someone like Bruce Jenner. I would have assumed a transgender man was very flamboyant, very feminine and probably gay. I never would have considered a man who is so manly to be transgender. And that, friends, is the kind of realization much of the world is having right now. We have just realized that we have no idea about so many things – and it’s a big moment not just for the transgender community, but for most of us as a whole.


There’s an old saying that all publicity is good publicity, no matter how bad it might actually come across. The saying is mostly true. If people are talking about you, it really doesn’t matter what they are saying so much as it matters that they are saying it. Your name is what’s important and relevant. People don’t bother talking about those who aren’t relevant or important, and Jenner is providing the transgender community with a lot of free publicity. And judging by the exceptional outpouring of support shown to Jenner following his interview with Diane Sawyer, the transgender community is seeing a lot of positive publicity at the moment. It’s working out for them to bring about awareness to their lifestyle.


Everyone now officially knows someone who is openly transgender. What does that mean? That means that it’s now a relevant topic everywhere, when it might not have been true a week ago before the announcement was made by Jenner. There’s a lot more humanity being shown toward the transgender community at the moment, which means that more and more people are going to show their support and their understanding because it’s now more relevant in their lives. People will learn more about the subject, perhaps realize that they know people in their own lives going through the same thing, and it’s certainly going to bring about more humanity for those who are living such secret lives at the moment.

There is no way that Bruce Jenner’s announcement is going to receive support from everyone in the world – nothing and no one does. There are always people with their own beliefs, people who hate others and people who cannot just live and let live. As long as no one is being hurt, abused or breaking any laws – why not just let them live their own lives since it clearly does not affect yours? It’s a simple concept that not everyone understands. Fortunately, tolerance of ‘difference’ in our nation is becoming a lot more common, and Bruce Jenner is just helping that become an even bigger reality for the transgender community.

People will hate, judge and try to destroy Jenner and the people who are in his life, but they will not succeed. Some will say that he only made this announcement to receive ratings for the Kardashian reality shows (because it seems like a really great way to treat someone for ratings, right?) and some people will forever view him as a person who isn’t ‘right’ and there is nothing that can be done about that. But by coming out and admitting his feelings and his lifestyle, Jenner has paved a path for future generations to live with more pride, more honesty and more of themselves, and that’s a gift.

Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for The Lopez Foundation


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