Sunday, June 7, 2015

On Caitlyn Jenner and Society

Here we go. The post to start the storm. I'm going to really try to stay unemotional through this, but I'm an empath. Me being unemotional is a huge joke. This is just one of those things that I feel very deeply for (well, really, it's just a part of the one thing I feel very deeply for: life of sentient beings). Just to outline what's going down in this post and to give you a heads up to run away if you'd like, my discussion - and I do mean DISCUSSION - for today will cover transgender as a "mental disorder," transgender and religion, and a blurb of my and some others' opinions on the whole thing.

Transgender as a "Mental Disorder"

I can't remember now where I saw it, but there was an argument claiming that transgender is a mental disorder and not a real state of being on the gender scale. P.S. it's not a gender binary with only two choices and that's it. But anywho, I am not a psychologist/neuropsychologist/or any type of scientist to dispute whether that is or isn't the case. Instead, let's pretend that it is in fact a mental disorder (I in no way believe it is, but for the sake of the point I'm wanting to make, let's pretend).

For a year and a half, I worked at a crisis hotline where I listened to people tell me about how torn up they were by their depression or sexual identity crises or scizophrenic episodes. There are support groups and counselors and some acceptance for these issues. Where is that for the transgender people? No where. It's immensely stigmatized and shoved deep into the closet to hide with the skeletons instead.

So many suicides have happened that we have finally realized the value of adding happiness and hope in life to those who are struggling with depression or anxiety or whatever other mental disorders. How many more transgender suicides have to happen before we'll see the value of adding happiness and hope in their lives as well? Better question, why does it matter who is committing suicide? Why can't we add happiness and hope to all life?

Transgender and Religion

If your argument for why Caitlyn Jenner is disgusting rests solely in your Christian beliefs, then please break it down for me advanced Barney style because I don't get it. She's a person. Love thy neighbor and all that. And don't be disrespectful by purposefully using the opposite gender pronouns from what she has asked to be used.
Now how about how we're all perfectly and wonderfully made in His image? You can't tell me God isn't some kind of intersex person with the entire range of gender. Who is to say that a transgender person is a mistake? God has to have in his possession both male and female everything if we are all to have been made in His image.

Now I'm sure there is also going to be some sexual identity arguments thrown in here though they are separate things and I'd rather focus on the gender identity part. But let's go ahead and humor the sexual arguments. Where in the New Testament does God say that homosexual marriage is wrong? He talks a lot about how you shouldn't lie with a man like with a woman out of lust and thinking that won't count as an affair. There was a great YouTube video over this, and I wish I could find it again to post it here.

Now Back to Caitlyn Jenner

Do I think Caitlyn Jenner making the transition should be this big of a deal? No. But that's because I think it shouldn't matter what other people are doing with their lives if it is in no way infringing upon the rights and personal safety of another. So she got a surgery to be happier with life and more comfortable in her own skin. She wouldn't be the first person to do that. Breast implants or lap bands anyone?

As for all the shade thrown at Drake Bell and everyone screaming bloody murder because Caitlyn isn't a war hero, why can't all of that be separate? Why do we have to measure and weigh each instance against each other? Caitlyn Jenner got a surgery and is now a pretty strong face for the transgender community. Drake Bell is now getting death threats because of a transphobic comment; it shouldn't matter why or what he did, it shouldn't be happening. Our military is amazing. I'm married to a Marine for crying out loud. But an occupation is a separate thing entirely from gender identity. Tying this back to religion, aren't all "sins" equal and none are greater than another? Why then are different aspects of life getting compared like apples to coffee tables?

Here is some great additional reading that I am absolutely in love with. My main opinion over this controversy is it shouldn't take a celebrity to make something real. We should just care about all people no matter what simply because they are people. But Jon Stewart hit the nail right on the head with how Caitlyn is now getting treated and helps to bring up an amazing point about misogyny. "It's really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman, but to waste no time in treating her like a woman." - Jon. Hello objectification and only being worth your appearance.

And lastly, here is a great video from a girl I used to be much closer to. Kait has some great points about transphobia, and I love how far she has come in her own personal journey as a bisexual woman.

Hateful comments will be deleted. If you can't have a mature discussion, please don't comment. We're all adults and should be able to enunciate our points with a logical reason to back up what we're saying instead of just slinging stinky opinions. If you have any questions about where exactly I stand on any issue, just ask. I'll tell you. This blog post obviously could have gone on for quite a bit longer so if it feels like anything is missing or lacking clarification, let me know, and I'll fill in the gaps. AND if you like what you see and want to see some more from fellow feminist bloggers on the web, check out this awesome linkup!!!