Of course we all know about Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover and the ramifications of this culturally iconic moment. While the trans community has received prominence with shows such as Amazon’s magnificent Transparent and the transitions of Chaz Bono and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace, Caitlyn Jenner is in another realm.
This is a cultural icon, the person who made the Wheaties box a symbol of athletic prominence and one of the greatest American athletes in modern times.
But of course, the news of Caitlyn Jenner is somehow causing controversy with your friends from high school who endlessly moan about people’s welfare and who think intellectualism should be replaced with memes. Yes, the same people who probably whine about “political correctness” and “everyone is so sensitive these days guys!!!” are actually insulted by a stranger being happy.
I’m not going to share this meme because it’s a)-shareporn and b)-an affront to critical thinking, but there is something going around that is just ridiculous.
ESPN has some bullshit awards show called the ESPYs that occasionally has some awesome moments such as the speeches of Jim Valvano, Stuart Scott and Michael Sam.
Well ESPN has decided to award Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Award which exemplifies courage and bravery. But of course, there is controversy with this as people are using the story of Noah Galloway (an Iraqi war veteran, and certified badass who competes in Ironman competitions even after the amputation of his arm and leg) who is the alleged “runner-up” to Ms. Jenner.
Noah Galloway is a machine and a guy who has more bravery and valor than I do in my thumbnail. But unfortunately he is being used as a prop by others to hide behind their bigotry and debate what the “true meaning of bravery” really should entail.
But a couple of things, 1)-there was no runner-up. 2)-people who suffer from bigotry tend to hide behind certain institutions to avoid saying what is really on their mind. When someone is promoting this meme, they aren’t sharing his story, they are spitting on the trans community and anyone who aligns themselves with them.
This is people who say “WHO CARES” when someone comes out, clearly providing the proof on why these are big deals. These are the people who want to complain about people “telling ME what to do” but at the same time, demeaning anything that makes them uncomfortable. Part of it of course is probably innocent naiveté, I’ll allow that, but under the façade of most is the archaic viewpoints and mentality that continues to wish for a more vile time in our society.
There shouldn’t be a case for Caitlyn Jenner’s bravery. Look at what happens to people who transition. Look at the suicide rates. Look at the shaming. Look at the families who turn their back on their own. Look at the disgust people share. Look at the bullshit that people say. Look at the jokes that people want to say but look even closer at who is laughing, the person who prides themselves as enablers of hate.
Don’t hide behind Noah Galloway. He doesn’t deserve your backhanded praise.
No one does.