Justin Alvis | Columnist
On the morning of June 1, 2015 Caitlyn Jenner came out of hiding.
She, along with her tight abs and abnormally large breasts, graced the cover of Vanity Fair in a full spread about her new life as a woman.
Caitlyn, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is a courageous Olympic Gold Medalist setting a world record not beaten until 1980. Jenner became “an American hero” by winning an event long dominated by Soviet Union athletes during the Cold War.
She was the father of four beautiful kids, and the loving, caring, husband of Kris Jenner. Bruce was the people’s favorite on the E! reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” as the quiet and adorable father who always made time for his children and was supportive of everyone’s dreams and aspirations, including his wife’s.
However, once Caitlyn announced her transition, her loyal friends became her worst enemy.
People took to their Twitter accounts to display their anger, shock, excitement, support and disappointment. Her Twitter account reached one million followers in just four hours and she was the talk of all of the blogs.
Now, keep in mind, Bruce went on air with Diane Sawyer weeks before to announce his transition; but no one actually thought he was serious.
The social media world became divided. There were the people who could not understand why someone would want to change genders. People called him selfish for starting a new life and seemingly abandoning his family.
Then there are the people who refuse to even acknowledge her transition, insinuating that Caitlyn is just a confused, gay man.
Gender and sexuality are two different things. Caitlyn is a woman who is still attracted to other women, therefore, society labels her a lesbian.
Caitlyn’s transition officially sparked the real conversation on gender issues in America.
Despite the overwhelming support from her family and friends, America decided to spew their hate on her happiness.
Caitlyn’s transition completely erased all of her accomplishments, amazing personality traits, and favorite hobbies. Her existence has been diluted to her gender, when that is such a small part of her existence.
According to the American Psychological Association, In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association added gender identity dysphoria to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). a diagnosis of gender dysphoria ensures that more services for transgender people will be covered by health insurers.
However, Caitlyn does not think she suffers from “gender identity dysphoria.” She knows herself as a beautiful, blonde woman who was trapped in a man’s body for a very, very long time.
Gender and sexuality differ from person to person; everyone identifies differently. There is no one “man”, “woman”, “gay”, or “lesbian”.
Who are you to tell someone they can’t identify as a woman? Who are you to completely disregard someone’s presence because they do not fit into your religious and social beliefs?
The irony is that people develop serious mental illnesses and even resort to suicide because they are denied their presence due to sexual or gender preference.
To diagnose her gender identity as a mental illness is America’s way of labeling something they cannot understand. And that is the real problem.
It is the reason why millions of Americans are afraid to properly identify their gender and or sexuality like they can identify their favorite ice cream flavor. Both of them you are born with, it just takes exploring and time to determine. It is the reason why some major publications have a “LGBTQ” sections and “gay” clubs are a category of nightlife. It is the reason why eventually “gender identity dysphoria” becomes “schizophrenia” or “bipolar” disorder.
Imagine living life as a social experiment and/or topic all of your life for something that is biologically a part of your existence.
Your job is to love, support, and understand.
So the next time you meet someone that is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer, understand that is not their existence and they probably do not want to talk about it.