Caitlyn Jenner has certainly been in the public eye, both for gender identity expression reasons and reasons more typical of reality/tabloid television. What I am about to write is not critical of the former, though I’m in no way a fan of the latter. Jenner can identify and express herself however she wants to whomever she wants.
No, and she doesn’t owe anyone anything. I want to make that clear as well.
I read an article today where she commented that she can’t imagine a man wanting to date her. The 66-year old went on to explain that, while she has no interest in dating women anymore, she doubts she will date men, either.
I would argue that is isn’t exactly common in our society, at this point, for individuals to express an identity separate from their biological sex. And the biggest stereotype I’m fighting against right now is that, as someone who is biologically male, that expressing a more feminine gender means that I’m also bisexual or gay.
This is not Jenner’s problem, nor is it any kind of knock on the gay/lesbian/bisexual community: they’ve had a brutal fight over our history as a species. No, this is simply something that leads to an even longer explanation when the inevitable questions come up.
With it being rare, that means many people will be exposed to gender identity and expression through celebrity means: reality and tabloid television, supermarket checkout aisles, etc. And they’re going to see the one celebrity they know who has changed expression and how that has also meant a different sexual orientation.
I guess that’s why people like me need to be patient, to explain, and to be public about such things.
I’ve said before that I’m not that strong. I live in a town where just about all of men and a good chunk of the women are more masculine than me: it’s a very blue-collar place. I guess, slowly, we’ll see if I’m comfortable enough to be a different example to a few people around me.