Liberal Point of View
I’ve sat on this for a couple of days since the Caitlyn Jenner cover broke the Internet. And frankly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to say anything public about it. But I imagine I have a perspective to offer that maybe rides a middle ground that I can’t seem to find whenever I open another commentary or opinion about the issue.
It took me 30 years to finally come to grips with my own opinions and beliefs about the homosexual community (yes, this is a rabbit trail – yes, I understand that Caitlyn isn’t gay). To grow up in a conservative Christian worldview that denounced any type of sex outside of a heterosexual marriage union, meant I had to jump through a lot of hoops in my head before I could acknowledge that I didn’t agree. The arguments were oversimplified, underchallenged, and grossly missing scientific understanding of the human brain and its complexities.
I freely admit that my beliefs and theories about transgender people are even less developed. I don’t know what to think. I know that my limited understanding of hormones and brain chemistry mean that I’m not qualified to tell or judge another human being’s perspective on him/herself. I know that there are children born male that “feel” female their whole lives (and vice versa), and it’s not necessarily because of some parental dysfunction or environmental cause.
I take the stance “Live and let live.” Never would I judge, ostracize, or criticize someone in the throes of an identity crisis such as feeling one sex and outwardly showing another. And damnit, I would defend them against any Christian who’d dare say God wasn’t pleased with him or her.
Having said all that, the cover of the Vanity Fair magazine made me uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. But not towards Caitlyn. Towards us as a society.
One of my “shout from the rooftops” messages I want my kids to grow up with is this: Your body and outward appearance does not a person make. Especially for girls. Girls who are barraged with media images and perfectionist ideals that are completely unattainable.
The praise and adoration towards Caitlyn’s new figure makes me cringe. You know how when you lose weight and someone says to you, “God woman, you look great! Nice work!” and you feel so complimented and happy…and then very very sad at the same time? It’s because laced in the compliment of weight loss is the criticism that you weren’t as great when you were heavier.
The pressure mounts.
Now you have more evidence to back up your “greatness” when you’re skinny, and your “less greatness” when you’re heavier. Not that anyone really means to send that message when they give praise to someone’s weight loss journey, but still- it happens.