Tag Archives: transgender

The shots seen round the world

I’m talking, of course, about the glamor shots taken by expert portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.

Bruce Jenner who once adorned Wheaties boxes as one of the USA’s greatest athletes for winning the Decathlon in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, has become Caitlyn Jenner at the age of 65. I don’t understand her motivations, but I’m not required to understand, anymore than she is required to explain them.

Transgender individuals are nothing new on the horizon of humanity. In certain societies it was recognized that one could be physically born one gender but know that it was (or is) the wrong gender. In some societies this condition was recognized as a third sex.

Simply put, transgender is the state of one’s gender identity or gender expression not matching one’s assigned sex. In fact, being transgender has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Some undergo transition and remain attracted to the same sex that attracted them before.

In the past, changing gender was a matter of dressing for the gender that one felt was right. In recent history, it has become possible to surgically alter the genitalia and appearance through surgery and hormone therapy… Even today, however, not all transgender individuals seek out the surgery.

Of all the things in the world that happened yesterday I have to wonder if Bruce’s change to Caitlyn is really more important other things that happened yesterday that we neither read about nor saw? But we can depend on the human interest in matters prurient to carry the day everytime.

If you were expecting a morality lecture on the subject of transgender, this is the wrong place to look. I’ve already seen on the Internet a couple of phrases along the line of, “What Jenner has done is immoral because God doesn’t make mistakes.”

Armed with the knowledge that there was outrage among the American clergy when anesthesia was first used to ease the pain of women during labor because women were meant to suffer during childbirth because the Bible says so, I tend to stay away from trying to get into God’s head. Too often scripture is a lot easier to read than to translate and I’m not qualified to delve into God’s personal code of ethics.

That a thing is hard to understand is reason enough for most people of a fundamentalist mind set to condemn it. As a child, I remember a squabble among Southern Baptists over whether pianos ought to be allowed in churches. A few years later things were reversed — pianos were traditional and organs were a a showy extravagance.

As far as I’m concerned, I wish Caitlyn the best of luck. I was fortunate enough that I was never troubled by believing myself born into the wrong physical body. I have my own problems and they keep me busy.