Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ferris Bueller, You're My Hero

As many of you may have noticed, 2015 has been the year of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Olympic great and former doormat to Kris (secretly wishes her name was still Kardashian) Jenner, Bruce announced earlier this year that he actually identified as a woman, and then revealed the transformation on the cover of Vanity Fair looking absolutely fierce with the headline "Call Me Caitlyn". Two things about this before I get to my point. First, I think its really funny that Kim Kardashian tried to break the internet with a picture of her ass, but her step-dad stomped all over her looking classy as hell. Second, I don't know if it was an intentional jab at the Kardashians, but I like that Caitlyn isn't spelled with a K. Anyway, this announcement and the following photoshoot made the internet go absolutely nuts. Everyone has something to say about it, and the most interesting argument that I've seen is whether Caitlyn is a hero or not. There are some who are applauding her bravery and calling her a hero for anyone who is transgendered or questioning their identity, while others are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, saying that she is absolutely not a hero and if we want a true definition of bravery we should look at soldiers because how fucking hard is it to put on a dress and a wig? A lot of these angry thoughts are accompanied by this picture, with a caption saying these guys are the true American heroes. I have some issues with this.

When did bravery and heroism become a competition? I'm not saying that soldiers aren't heroes, because they absolutely are, but I don't understand when they became the only ones who were able to hold that title.  My mom is my hero, and she has never served in the armed forces. I don't even know if she's ever held a gun. But she is still a hero to me, because as a single parent she raised both my sister and I to be strong, confident and independent young women. She also runs marathons and rides bikes up mountains. I have friends who have lost siblings, and they are my heroes for handling one of the worst things that can happen to a person with absolute grace, and going on to have happy and successful lives. I know people who are my heroes for having the bravery to come out as gay to their families and friends. My grandpa and one of my dearest friends have both battled and conquered cancer multiple times, and for that they are my heroes. But these people have never gone to war for their country, have never faced grenades or gunfire, still have all of their limbs and no PTSD, so are they not true heroes? Is their bravery worth less because their situations aren't life threatening? Absolutely not, because the term "hero" is completely subjective.

Caitlyn Jenner may not fit the conventional definition of the word, but she is a hero nonetheless. She is a hero to the transgendered community, a hero to people who may not have had anyone to look up to, and a hero for those who are struggling with their own identity issues. I have never had any sort of struggles with my sexuality or gender identity, and I can't imagine the courage it would take to come to not only your family and friends, but also the rest of the world. She is a hero, my mom is a hero, soldiers are heroes. It doesn't fucking matter. Oh, and that picture of the soldiers? Its not even real. Its part of a World War II model that a guy built as therapy to help him after he got beaten into a coma because some guys found out that he was a cross-dresser. Let me repeat that, this picture that people are using to bash a transgendered woman and say she isn't a hero was actually part of something built by a man who was almost beaten to death because he was a cross-dresser. 

Just let that sink in for a minute.

1 comment:

  1. The best part about all this is the actual meaning behind the picture: