Caitlyn Jenner Still Matters

LGBTQ Rights

Just because this has been cropping up in my Facebook feed a lot as of late:

This whole Caitlyn Jenner thing might seem like something trivial in comparison to the other important issues that are happening in the world. I’m not going to sit here and argue about why Caitlyn (And it’s Caitlyn, not Bruce, and she is a she/her, not a he/him/it. That really should not be so fucking hard to understand) is a necessary presence in the media – google Leelah Alcorn, google transgender suicide, and you will see why the prevalence of a popular media figure bringing the transgender movement into the public eye is a good thing. I don’t have time, nor the patience, to keep explaining why she matters. I’m also not at all indicating that her importance is any more or less significant than the accomplishments and sacrifices of others. But this is exactly like the‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ movement – no one is suggesting that black lives are negating the lives of anyone else just because their plight is the current focus of media attention, just as Caitlyn is not negating the importance or attention deserved of soldiers in the war, or Akon’s contributing solar power to millions of Africans. Those things are really fucking important, and Caitlyn’s presence in the media DOES NOT NEGATE THAT. What I’M sick of seeing is people who are blaming Caitlyn herself for her being in the spotlight in lieu of the others INSTEAD of blaming the media. She did not go up to Vanity Fair and say “Fuck Akon/the troops/whoever else, you have to put ME on the cover because I said so.” It is the MEDIA’S fault that due attention is not given to other issues that are, yes, believe it or not, JUST AS IMPORTANT AS TRANSGENDER RIGHTS. Two of my friends are trans. Several of my closest friends are gay. Almost all of them have suffered in some way, shape, or form from bigotry, ignorance of their plight, or outright physical abuse. Several of them have contemplated suicide because the world we live in was so cruel to their kind. Anything that gives them hope that the world is shifting, that it’s becoming more accepting of them, is a good thing, and that doesn’t become meaningless because someone else in the world has suffered more, or is doing something one’s opinion could consider more important. I’m not here to argue over who’s doing more. I’m here to say that if you want me to take your opinion seriously, if you want to make a difference, you will STOP putting the blame on the person getting the attention, and shift your blame to the ones ignoring others who are just as worthy of attention.

I would never, for a second, discredit or disparage the lives of our wounded/deceased soldiers. They are also heroes. I would never downplay the accomplishments of scientists in combating disease, poverty, or other societal ills. Akon officially has the label of “fucking awesome” for his work in bringing solar energy to millions in Africa, thus changing its landscape for the better. All of these people are heroes. But Caitlyn Jenner still deserves her place, and frankly, if you’re sick of seeing her in the media, and don’t think that it’s that big of a deal, then that means transgender normalcy has officially happened. And that’s still pretty fucking huge.