My time spent watching television mainly revolves around sport, news, movies and the odd MTV show. It’s probably not an unfair assumption to say that all of these programs are directed at male audiences. This is why I found it quite astonishing to catch myself entranced in the two part series of Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation, which was aired on channel E! as part of the ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ Season 10. I’ve never really watched the show before apart from when either my sister or mum have been in charge of the remote, however as years have gone by, I’ve slowly become familiar with it’s characters.
Bruce Jenner, the father of the billionaire family has always appeared as a very manly man, that is why I was very shocked to hear of the news about him recently deciding to face his gender identification issues and begin the transition to a woman. His Olympic, hardened, manly status was soon forgotten as I watched the teary eyed Jenner explain to his family about the decision and how important it was to him.
Personally I have never felt sorry for the Kardashians and their falsely dramatic lives which they portrait on their extraordinarily popular reality show, but on this occasion I did because it was like they were saying goodbye forever. But then I thought if a man of this status could come to the conclusion that he wanted such a large transformation in his life, it must definitely have had an impact on other transgender people in the world. It could have a positive effect on a lot of peoples lives. And with a staggering 48% of transgender people attempting suicide, It turns out I was not the only one thinking this way.
Blogs such as Variety, The Drum and Go Kicker all wrote saying things like “Jenner inspired me to live a more authentic life”, and “I walked away from the special wondering how many of us deny our true selves out of fear of judgement, ridicule and the opinions of others.”
Good on you Bruce, even though you lived much of your life that you didn’t feel yourself in, your decision to take this journey now is better timing than ever.