I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Bruce Jenner’s Ok

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner is the most high-profile transgender person to come out of the closet.

And people seem fairly accepting of the transition so far. But transgender folk face hate crimes at astonishing rates, says Nick Kristof at the New York Times. He points out:

So far this year at least three transgender people have been reported murdered in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign issued a report the other day listing 13 transgender women murdered in 2014: They were shot, strangled, burned and beaten.

Bullies project their own shame onto others. And then they beat the crap out of what they hate inside themselves. Sometimes verbally, and sometimes physically.

What is it about transgendered-ness that cues insecurity?

More specifically, what cues male insecurity? Because it’s bullying men who bash.

Once again, “gender ranking” underlies the problem.

We rank men above women. So men must prove they deserve that high status: men have to prove they are men. Women don’t have to prove that they are women.

Jenner gold-medaled in the 1976 Olympics.

Jenner gold-medaled in the 1976 Olympics.

In fact, when women and girls do something really well they might be told, “You the man!” But when men and boys don’t do something very well they might be called a girl, or a woman, or a lady. As in: “You run like a girl!”

So guys may worry that they don’t measure up.

Then they see someone who clearly isn’t “a man.” Someone who is blurring gender lines, or even crossing over them.

The insecurity is sparked. And they attack what they hate inside themselves.

Plus, blurring or crossing gender boundaries is a threat to the whole notion of male superiority. And apparently being male is the only source of self-esteem that some guys have.

If more people knew that they really were okay inside, it would be a lot easier to see that Bruce Jenner and other transgender people are okay, too.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on April 24, 2015, in feminism, gender, LGBTQ+, psychology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 63 Comments.

  1. I think that men feel that they have to prove their manhood and in order to do so they can bully and push their hate onto transgender people, it also has a lot to do with ignorance and fear of the unknown. Men aren’t the only people that can bully but most of the time they have more of a motive and that is to prove themselves. Because there are so few openly transgendered celebrities out there, the fact that Bruce is being so open about it is truly courageous and amazing and hopefully gives more people information on the topic and more people courage to come out. I can not imagine living in a world where I was hiding a secret like that. It would be miserable and brutal and a lot of people have killed themselves over it. Feeling trapped in the wrong body is never something I have had to deal with but I know friends who have and I’m so thankful that I have been nothing but supportive and understanding because I think if I had been raised differently then I would for sure be way less open minded. Go Bruce!

  2. Bruce Jenner’s interview made history.It was all over social media, the news, and is still being talked about. Bruce Jenner was very brave, and has gotten major support from many people. However, it isn’t always the case for other transgender individuals. I remember in 2002 there was a huge murder case in Newark, which is the neighboring city to where I live. I was about twelve. I remember seeing a picture of a beautiful young woman on the news, later to find out she was actually born a male, and was brutally murdered. A few years back, there was a movie made of this devastating story. My sister and I watched it together, and throughout the movie my heart hurt. I could only imagine what the deceased’s family went through. His name was Eddie, but he identified by Gwen. At a young age he knew he was a girl, and told his mom. She told Gwen she didn’t care what he was, she was going to love him regardless. Gwen started to go through hormone treatments, but still had some male parts. Gwen was intimate with some teenage boys, and once they found out she was actually born a male, they got violent leading to strangulation which caused her death. Gwen’s story isn’t the only one, there are many horrible, senseless acts of violence towards transgender individuals. I believe the males who bash these victims are truly insecure with themselves, and to make themselves feel more manly, they harass the transgender community. It is sickening. I am glad Bruce Jenner, an Olympic Champion came out, and is starting his journey as woman. I am sure he is going through a million different emotions, but to have support from thousands of people, and his family helps. Also, this interview brings more awareness, and shows light that there are many people who go through this, but are terrified to come out. Which leads to suicide, and self harm. Sometimes we just need let go of our personal opinions, and just be there for the ones who need support.

  3. Kaitlin Cabral

    I really enjoyed the interview that Bruce Jenner did. I could see that it was very difficult for him to open up and release his “secret” to the public, but it was so inspiring and courageous. I think that as a society, we need to work on being more open minded and accepting, in order to have people feel more comfortable being their true selves. I think that gender stereotypes is a big factor that leads to hate crimes because there are certain expectations that people hold such as how men and women should act and what they should like and dislike. If people learned to let go of certain expectations, than it could lead to better understanding and acceptance when it comes to things such as sexual identity. In Bruce Jenner’s case, I think that it was eye opening to many people because he was an extraordinary olympic athlete, and many considered him very masculine, but he shows that even though he feels that he is a women, it did not change his interests. This is important because it shows people that even though someone may be interested in the stereotypical feminine or masculine things, it does not define the type of person they are.

  4. Bruce Jenner is commendable for coming out and telling the world he is transgender. As the book Women’s Realities, Women’s Choices talks about the history of feminism and trying to make sense of gender identities and deeper research into why and how humans act certain ways (Alcoff et al 75). Intersectionality approaches both the identities and structures of oppression (Alcoff et al 101). In order to understand Bruce Jenner, a person must understand Jenner’s identity and social position along with going beyond his gender through his race, class, and sexuality. Bruce Jenner was an Olympian whom Americans had respect for. He was seen as a masculine man and was always in the spotlight, especially after marrying Kris Jenner. In their reality show “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” Bruce felt that he could never be himself and it was ironic that it was a reality show and Bruce was not always the star of the show, but he never showed who he truly was on the set. Mainstream media never provides an accurate depiction of how society is or should be. It is looked with utmost respect that Bruce Jenner came out on the 20/20 show where he not only is helping himself be happy, but also helping the transgendered community out in society. This showed how it is okay to be who you truly are. Everyone is unique and social pressure may force you to act in one direction, but in the end, you know yourself the best to know what you enjoy and what you dislike. It’s scary knowing how the transgendered are treated in society, especially for celebrities like Bruce Jenner. Bruce was also contemplating suicide because he could not be himself. Bruce believes he is a woman is in the process of becoming one. Ultimately, whether you are heterosexual, gay, straight, lesbian, transgendered, etc., everyone should respect one another and ignore society’s negative pressures and media opinions. Be yourself and respect everyone equally.

  5. I am very happy that transgender is becoming more mainstream in the fact that it can be openly discussed in media and people can have discussions about. Though I see a lot of support for Bruce and the transgender community, there are still those who go out of their way to disapprove.

    I constantly wondered why it is such a big deal and how does it effect others so much to the point they can become hateful and cruel. What you said about “gender ranking” made perfect sense to me. Once again, the idea of men are more valuable than women comes into play. The fact that a guy wants to not be a guy is seen as weak or inexcusable because since men are superior, why would you want to give that up and be become lesser/ weak or, a girl?

    I am in full support of Bruce and the LGBT community and I hope that one day, our views of what is feminine and masculine can dissolve so that everyone can just be who they truly are and not have to hide behind the gender roles that are forced upon them.

  6. Being a mother of 2 boys and 3 girls I’ve tried my best to teach my kids to respect and treat everyone equal, no matter their gender, sexuality or race. I hated when my brothers would hound my son to be more rough and not play with his sisters. I feel that people who don’t accept other people’s sexuality or are uncomfortable with others sexualities are uncomfortable with their own. Only decision that effects you is your own, so once again because society frowns down on transgender’s it becomes something that seems normal to do and this causes things such as hate crimes, murders, bullying etc.. I have a niece who never excepted herself as a lady and now is happy after transforming her appearance into a man. It’s hard listening to the stories she tells me on a daily basis. People really judge more off appearance than personality these days. If we as a society stress personality over appearance the negative perspective of being transgender might be different

  7. I think violence against transgender people stems from the Patriarchy. We live in society where individuals are told to be strictly men or women. Furthermore, the Patriarchy tells us that gender should align with sex (i.e. all females should be women). As such, I think violence often follows transgender people because they do not conform to this irrational gender binary. In essence their existence can be seen as threat to the order produced by the Patriarchy and are often punished with violence. Furthermore, because transgender people do not fit the gender binary they also become a pariah and marginalized group. Research shows us that when groups become marginalized, violence often follows. I think these things all attribute to why harassment and violence against transgender people is unfortunately widespread and why it is often ignored.

  8. It is all Kardashian´s fault… Seriously though, i found hard to believe that Kardashian´s Mother Monster wasn’t aware… If she was, would you define her as lesbian.
    I wonder who the partner of an upcoming transgender deals with it… Let’s suppose I am gay and I am dating a gal … And that in between she decides to become a boy… Does her-him decision makes me straight. I think I´d have to break up with her, given the particular sexual preferences… Best wishes, dear Georgia. Aquileana ⭐

  9. I admire him for being true to himself and coming out. It really is admirable given the pressure he must be under as a public figure to be/act a certain way.

  10. I think Bruce Jenner is an icon. To be able to come out as transgendered when he’s constantly in the media and constantly being followed and photographed and filmed by paparazzi? That takes true courage. You said, “Plus, blurring or crossing gender boundaries is a threat to the whole notion of male superiority”. Some people see transgendered people as trying to swing both ways. How can you have a man decide he wants to be a woman? Well that’s not the way the world works right? Being a man is the best why would you want to change that or become something lesser than right? Wrong. I think the fact that most of our society has responded in a positive way to Jenner’s news is definitely an improvement as to the understanding of transgendered people.

  11. This was such a brave thing for Jenner to do, regardless of who he is (I use “he” as that is what he asked to be referred to as until further notice). Especially at this time, as you stated, because there is still such a huge amount of trans hate, and it is finally receiving some media attention.
    There can be many places that this hatred and violent emotion can come from. Yes, sometimes it is simply fear of the unknown. The majority of us are not transgender, and therefore, we cannot truly imagine what it must be like to know that who you know you are does not match with the physical version of yourself. I think this gets further complicated by the fact that we accept, or at least understand the existence of, tomboys and “effeminate” men. I have seen people argue that trans people are just “confused”because they like to do things that is identified with the other gender and that they are seeing that to mean that should become that other gender. They fail to understand that these are two very different things. As a girl who likes sports, has mostly male friends, and even has a “boy’s” name, I have never felt as though I was in the wrong body. Jenner is also a great example of blurred gender lines. He was born with male anatomy, and enjoys typically male things. He has married multiple women whom he truly did love, he had children with these women and always played the “dad” role. However, he still knows that he is a woman. I can understand how this can be a hard concept to grasp, and that is totally acceptable. What is unacceptable is the hate this ignorance creates.
    Amongst the overwhelming support from other celebrities following the interview, there was one tweet from an English actress that is an example of how views of gender roles and gender equality can create hate. I believe she came from a good place in trying to stand up for women, but she ended up totally misunderstanding, not only trans issues, but feminism, as well. She claimed that Jenner essentially doesn’t deserve to be a woman because he competed in an Olympic event from which women were banned and that he has benefitted from a higher pay because of male status. She completely missed the boat. It shouldn’t matter that he previously was able to socially and politically gain from his public gender, what matters is that whole time he was being oppressed by society and was unable to be true to himself and be comfortable. This is something that a so-called feminist should understand. She shouldn’t be trying to put Jenner down further because of it.
    It is very much a hot topic right now. I agree that most of the hate stems from unfair views of the genders, and valuing male traits while degrading female traits. It is much more complex than that, though, but is wholly rooted in the general lack of understanding of the genders.

  12. Joselyn J Ingram

    I really hadn’t thought of the issue this way, in terms of the social concept of male superiority. Just this weekend I was in the middle of a conversation of people attacking Bruce, saying he was “confused” and a “heshe” and it was really upsetting. It was very difficult to be the only one defending him against like five other people. But I think this post has definitely given me some new points and ideas to pursue further.

  13. I think it’s really cool that Bruce makes the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation. He speaks about how sexual orientation is what you are attracted to in a sexual partner, while gender identity describes who you are as a person. I think that a certain kind of people really hate what they fear and they fear what they don’t know. Therefore they will be inclined to physically hurt some one different then them simply because that person is not the same. It comes from ignorance, and a fear based on nothing. Change starts with educating people, and Bruce has begun to do that. He has more influence then a transgender person who doesn’t have cameras on them all the time, so hopefully he continues to educate people. I have a homophobic friend who texted me the day after the interview and was moved to tears. (I know homophobia doesn’t always have anything to do with transgender issues but my point is she is a more close minded person). I think that at one point when I didn’t understand what it meant to be transgender I wasn’t against it but a small part of me was fearful of the unknown. Now I am in a relationship with a transgender female, and it feels completely normal. She is so dope and down to Earth, and we are totally in love. Nothing has ever felt so right, I identify as a female and I like to feel sexy and wear make up and at the same time I lift weights. But my point is in society’s eyes we are an unlikely couple however we are happy and make it work, thanks for the topic I hope that young people today get more education on this topic. It would also save lives, so many transgender youth are killing themselves because they feel so alone. I’ve heard some one say that If they ever killed themselves it would be for that reason, because they feel like a boy trapped in a girls body.

    • I’m so glad that you have met each other and are happy. And I’m so glad that people can be who they are more than they used to be able to be, Without being tortured. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  14. Our society has really gone wild. People have talked and changed the way we look at each other. People can’t see men act like women or dress like women. Or women acting like men or dress like one. That is not normal, they might be sick or something. That’s what parents or society would say about trans-genders. Knowing that people have been beaten, killed because of their gender transformation makes me sick. I do understand that some people would feel uncomfortable to see another person of the same gender acting the opposite, while in a restroom or around them. I have a couple of family members who feel like a men but they were born a women, or feel like a women but were born a men. I agree that Bruce was a brave person to share his person journey with the world. Hopefully his words change our society and help people clear their foggy eyes and accept people for who they are.

  15. I feel Men are so afraid to come out if they have hyper masculine Fathers. Bruce’s father was a former Marine, a strong man who defended our country. Someone who may have wanted his children (only the boys) to follow in his foot steps or go into a field where men work with their hands. That can create the insecurity males feel. Not living up to what the world views as right or acceptable. But that is the thing i do not get. Why are people looked at for what they aren’t and not for what they are? Looking at Bruce Jenner, all i see is a happy person. A person how is not afraid to say “Yes, I am who I am.” That is inspiring and something people should be looking to achieve in life. Not what they think others want them to do. Lastly, i saw a post on the internet that stuck with me. It showed two pictures of Bruce Jenner, one from the Olympics and one recent picture, and under them it stated “Only a few people get to be heroes twice in one lifetime.” I support his decision and any person that wants to become Transgender. There should be no insecurity when someone just wants to be happy.

  16. In most of people’s view, men ought to be a masculine, resilience, and tough. This ideology is deeply rooted in our mind. Therefore, transgender individuals are easily targeted by men. The common justification indicates no tolerate to transgender person, changing gender seems to be abominating action. In my opinion, these bullies are likely to be male. Their true motive is powered by their insecurity and vulnerability. Most men refuse to be deemed as a female. Thus, these bullies take the extreme measure by attacking transgender people. Once again, all these are referred back to the gender ideology. Women are also victims as well; most people think women are weak and feeble. I think this type of mindset is inevitable in the past. However, as society advanced forward, I believe the level of toleration will be extended, so as respect from different genders.

  17. Many people I know believe that Bruce Jenner is claiming to be transgender for attention but I do not know anyone who would go to the extreme of getting a sex change for attention, especially how famous he is. It is very difficult for some people to grasp the concept of a woman in a man’s body. In his interview Bruce Jenner said that he does not like the phrase “woman trapped in a man’s body” because he does not think of himself as a woman, he thinks of himself as a person. However, he did go on to say that he is more feminine and that he feels he has the wrong anatomy. I think it is a scary transition for anyone and the amount of people who are insecure about other’s changing is overwhelming. Those who lash out on transgenders have insecurities about themselves and are very close minded. I agree with the post above that maybe it confuses them and makes them doubt their sexuality. On social media there is a post about a transgender, she was originally born a male but transformed into a female. She is very attractive and most boys do not know she used to be male. This makes them uncomfortable that they now find her attractive and they start to hate on her since she “made” them question their sexuality.

  18. I agree with your idea of how the belief in male superiority has created a hatred against transgender women(men becomes women). However I would also like to note that there is a possibility to that men hate on transgender women because there are possibilities of 1) falling in love between the former and latter and 2) when a man wants to become a woman, it seems that there is a link of becoming woman is much better than being a man. For years, while the gay society is gaining widespread acknowledgment of their sexual orientation, there are a higher percentage of women consistently more accepting of homosexuality than men. When a man is attracted to a transgender women, men symbolized it as them being “gay” instead of thinking of it as dating a normal woman. As a result, the fear of falling in love with a transgender turns into hatred against the latter to prevent being judged by other men.
    I am glad that the media has shown positive attention towards the concern and awareness of the transgender community in our world. The effect that Bruce Jenner is making would be substantial in educating the young generations.

  19. What is it about transgendered-ness that cues insecurity?
    More specifically, what cues male insecurity?

    Traditional patriarchal culture has bestowed in men huge responsibilities greater than most men are able to handle. Modern Popular culture on the other hand exalts and awards the best, the famous and the rich. Convergence of the patriarchal and modern populist culture fuels a crisis to men who may inwardly be experiencing too much pressure to prove they are men. Suppressed feelings, fear and desire to dominate, eventually is released to any presenting chance, thus these type of men are insecure and potential attackers. To them any man who identifies himself as a woman will experience their wrath and justice, so transgender people are exposing their suppressed feeling and thus they will hit out at people who are able to publicize any element they have so successfully hid in their psychological closet. Fortunately with celebrities coming out publicly to announce their transgender nature, this will have a double effect of creating awareness and encouraging this group of men to also come out of that closet that is a potential motivation to cause harm to innocent transgenders in the society.

  20. Something that I did not understand in this post is what insecurities men are feeling inside that bother them so much to attack another person. If it was supported more with comments from other men explaining what feelings there were it would make more sense. Otherwise, it might be a bit of a stretch to accuse insecurity as the main factor for these hate crimes. For instance the crimes may have been committed because it was due to love, and the significant other changed and it became too much or was a shock to the other person and that’s why the victim was mutilated or beat. I asked a male friend of mine to explain to me his thoughts on why people might commit such a heinous crime towards transgenders and he responded with “people who are ignorant are afraid of change and will do anything to prevent things that cross the boundaries of normality”. I would like to ask a few other people to really get a sense on what internal insecurities play a factor in these hate crimes.

    • There’s a difference in the way women and men react to transgender people. On the one hand they can both experience discomfort around people who go against such an important norm. But only men tend to get angry and bash and even kill men who take on a female identity. Or men who “Act like women” by being gay — and having sex the way women have sex, Plus taking on the stereotypical ideas of femininity (the stereotypical limp wrist).

      You’ve mentioned before that when someone bullies someone else it comes from a sense of insecurity. Research has shown that bullying is almost always a situation where a person is projecting their own shame on to someone else and then trying to destroy what they hate inside of themselves.

      Again, notice how there is a gender difference here: both men and women feeling uncomfortable with something that goes against an important norm. But the ones who are more much likely to get angry, bash and kill are men.

      And also notice that men have a higher status in our society. We commonly hear about how men have to prove their manhood. We never hear about how women have to prove their womanhood. That’s because men have to prove that they deserve a superior status.

      That’s why it’s not as big a deal when girls do guys-things. She’s a tomboy and that doesn’t demean her. But any boy who does girl things is seen as demeaning himself. We may compliment both men and women by saying something like, “You the man!” But we insult men by calling them sissies, girls, ladies, or women. (Yes, I’ve heard guys insult men who they think aren’t being manly enough as, “What a woman!” — as in, “What are wimp!”) Those are just a few examples of how we rank males and masculinity over females and femininity.

      So if your self-esteem is largely based on inhabiting that superior status, then when another man takes on female status, that threatens his sense of superiority. Because then gender seems more flexible, And men don’t seems so different from, or superior to, women.

      A man who feels secure about himself isn’t going to get all wrapped up in this.

      I’m curious as to why you think that the gendered pattern goes the way it does if you don’t think that this is the reason.

  21. I’ve only seen excerpts of his interview out here, but the response in the written news has been phenomenal. Proud of him when he won the gold and even more so with the courage and wisdom he is teaching everyone now. Cheers.

  22. I agree with the points you brought up in this post, especially the part about males having the urge to relay their insecurities to other people. I believe it is a selfish attitude but one that society widely accepts, and we have to take measures to change that way of thinking.

  23. Vedant Agrawal

    I think that it is a wonderful thing that we live in a society where someone is freely allowed to express what they feel like in a physical way too. Transgender people are very often criticised or bullied because people are afraid of losing their own identity, something which many hold on to very dearly. Males are often taught that they are the superior gender and a male to female transition is especially frowned upon because it questions the superiority of the “Male gender”.

    I think people are also aggravated because their sense of normalcy is challenged. They think of genders as permanent, unchangeable and any change in a person’s gender is considered abnormal. such people tend to become uncomfortable with the concept of transgender.

    As is mentioned in this blog, there are many people, males especially, who look at their weaknesses as failures of their gender and think that transgender people represent these failures. Such individuals may use bullying behavior to make up for their insecurity and try to regain power. They may also be trying to say “I’ll never be like you”, in an attempt to convince themselves of the strength of their gender identity.

    I think it’s great that people are supportive this far and I hope this continues, although I have a feeling that had Bruce Jenner not been a celebrity, the situation may be a little different.

  24. To start off with, what Bruce Jenner did was a brave and courageous act. Not a lot of transgender people, or any if that, come out and publicly let the world know they are. I feel that both men and women discriminate against transgender people, and mainly out of confusion. I personally caught myself questioning “why now?” and “why fake it for all these years?”, but I realized Bruce Jenner, just like any other person, can’t answer that question. Nobody knows why all of a sudden in his mid 60’s does he finally go through with the process to change himself biologically from a woman to a man. I feel that men and women are skeptical about accepting trans-gender people because they don’t quite understand it. A man changing to a woman, it kind of makes one ask why this person doesn’t love who they are or why on earth would a woman not be happy with who she is. I think nobody truly knows the answer.I feel that we should all be accepting of people who choose to change things in order to feel happy. We are all normal human beings, and it is not weird that one feels they were born into the wrong body. I personally accept anybody from the LGBTQ community.

    • You are right that both men and women can be extremely uncomfortable around transgender people. But it only tends to anger men. But then, it’s a threat to manhood in a way that it is not a threat to womanhood.

  25. I was extremely touched by Bruce Jenner’s interview, and by the support that his family has shown in his journey. He is extremely brave for coming forward with his story, both for himself and for representing countless other trans women that experience violence, harassment, and prejudice because of their gender. I think that a lot of the prejudice directed towards transgender people is based out of fear and spite for the unknown, which is partly a result of a lack of education on LGBTQ issues and lack of transgender representation in media. Transphobic mindsets are dangerous, as they reduce transgender people to mere bodies instead of recognizing them as people. Bruce Jenner said in the interview, “I’m a person, I’m not stuck in anyone’s body.”, in response to the phrase “woman trapped in man’s body.” Bruce is extremely strong for braving the ignorance that too often comes with addressing trans issues, and I wish him the best in his journey.

  26. Ooh, I’m so fascinated and interested in this story, I’m so glad you wrote about it! When I watched it, I couldn’t help but wonder whether he would have felt the need to transform if feeling/acting like a woman (as a man) was socially acceptable. Also, I think women do have to prove they are women as much as men have to prove they are men. It’s only that our definition of what it means to be a woman is broader than what it means to be a man.

    • Thanks you for your thoughts. But how do you think that women have to prove their women?

      I mean, we even have a term which men use constantly, “prove your manhood.” The young men in my classes talk about constantly feeling pressure to prove their manhood in how they walk, talk, accept risky dares.

      I have never in my life felt like I needed to prove my womanhood. So I’m wondering how you have experienced that.

      • Hmm, maybe I’m misinterpreting… I just mean that in instances where I have been called aggressive or unladylike, it has been said in the context of what it means to be a woman, i.e., a woman should not behave in this way. Of course, I have grown up in a patriarchal society, so maybe its more of an issue as a result.

      • I see where you are coming from. I guess I’ve always looked at those kinds of comments as meaning to disempower women. On the other hand, guys work to strive to meet a certain standard. I think they’re both about maintaining gender roles and male dominance. But thanks for your thoughts!

  27. While men might more commonly respond to transgender people with a more visceral and insecure reactions I don’t think women are quite as secure with trans people as they should be. This has been shown by how many mothers have responded to the issue of trans friendly restrooms. Video clip after video clip can be found of women expressing fear about their children–more specifically their daughters–sharing restrooms with classmates that are transgender.

    While patriarchy plays a large role in these issues I think homophobia also plays a large role and both are obviously related. I think a large source of the male reaction has to do with not wanting to be caught in a romantic situation with a transgender woman. They see transgender women as a threat to their heterosexuality. Many of these same men would probably show repugnant disgust at the idea of a gay man coming on to them.

    The interview was really fascinating and I am happy that Jenner gets to start her life. The trans friends I have expressed a lot of pride and hope not just for her but also for their community.

    • I agree that it’s not only male insecurity, but also gender policing, and things just seem mean weird. Homophobia could certainly play a role too. Three out of four of those things are related to patriarchy.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  28. Celebrities have always been treated like different people from a different planet, so it should not be surprising, that he’s a transgender and have not been kidnapped or murdered. No one will dare murder him, he has strong security. I do not agree with the idea of transgender thing. Why in the world would you want to change you gender and body to something else God created you? I translate transgendering as hate of oneself. It’s a shame and pity for the next generation. But again it’s his own body so, he can do whatever he wishes to do with it. Before Bruce Jenner was not a transgender he was bullied, now that he decided to be a transgender he’s still bullied so there is no change. He should’ve just stayed as he was and be strong or ignore people judgements. No matter what you choose to do people will always judge… The only solution out of that is your confidence. And I also do not agree with the idea of killing one, because of the choice they decided to make, it’s not fair. God should be the one to make a decide, because he created all humans…

    • A lot of people don’t understand what it’s like to be transgender. Maybe really, only transgendered people do. All I can say from talking to them is that they experience their gender the way you do. If you were expected to live as a male it would probably seem really weird to you. I’m not aware of him having been bullied in his life. Not anymore than other celebrities, anyway.

  29. Interesting! I guess people get bullied for more than a reason. I can also tell that I have seen girls who has been shamed for whatever they were doing would also bully LGBTQ and perhaps that’s because they (the girls) wants to show off that they are not at the very bottom. However, I have seen few TV shows that discussed this issue with the religion, and islamic scholars would say something like yeah, if this person can prove he or she needs to change their gander before they do so and no they cannot be gays, because they are either male or female. And in the process, I have seen one of the requirements is checking the biological parts, if there is nothing wrong, then they send the person to see a psychiatrist for at least two years, then, the psychiatrist can decide. They think its a very complicated kind of matter that not everyone should be eligible for, so they make it as hard as possible to become the last choice anyone would want to do.

    • Bullying is always about putting others down to raise yourself up, usually via projecting your own shame onto others. Thanks for bringing a perspective from your culture.

  30. It’s just fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of difference, fear of change. We are more accepting of difference these days, but there is still much work to be done.

  31. “They were shot, strangled, burned and beaten”. It’s really shocking!! Perhaps, the male superiority ego feels, that, the transgenders are blurring the boundary line between males and females and, thus bringing both down to the same level. 😦

  32. I’m looking forward to his interview tonight. I think it’s inspiring that the “strongest man in the world” is coming out as a transgender. It just goes to show that those old stereotypes are outdated. I wonder though if his celebrity protects him somewhat- which is a good thing for him in that hopefully he won’t be as at risk of bullying.

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