Well readers, some weeks’ ago we had the disturbing ‘Kylie Jenner Challenge’ where vulnerable and highly susceptible teens were openly encouraged, through a massive social media campaign, to ‘suck shot glasses and blow up your lips to double their size.’
The painful practice involves young people – and older women of my acquaintance who really should know better – placing their mouth over the opening of a glass or a jar and sucking inwards until the resulting air vacuum caused their lips to swell to an enormous size in the hope of looking like Kylie Jenner.
The result was a raft of injuries with some teens even requiring hospital treatment due to extensive bruising. Then, just as we thought it was safe to turn on the TV, we were treated to the scary news that soon, in a bid to ‘mammy up’ her image, we will have yet another Kardashian to ‘keep up with,’ when Kim, desperate to keep her publicity generated ‘showmance’ with Kanye alive, announced she’s expecting a playmate for daughter North West.
Now while I’m delighted to hear a new life has been created and will forever celebrate the wonderful miracle of parenthood, seriously, does the world really need another offspring of a daft-as-a-brush rapper who thinks he’s Jesus and a narcissist who likes to star in her own sex tapes and who cuts the baby out of selfies when she needs to keep the focus on herself?
Alas it didn’t end there. 48 hours later, we had the promised but over the top unveiling of Bruce “call me Caitlyn” with a ‘C’ and not a ‘K’ Jenner, in order to break with the firm’s sorry family’s tradition of using the letter K as the featured consonant of their forenames.
How utterly daring and original of you dahling! The world rejoiced, the internet broke and we celebrated a watershed moment as Bruce, (now Caitlyn), the 65-year-old former Olympian and patriarch of the Kardashian/Jenner dynasty prior to his/her transition, decked in a basque, displayed herself seductively across the cover of Vanity Fair and gushed how, deciding on her new moniker and the manner in which to spell it was “one of the hardest things in life.”
Wow, well aren’t you just a fun filled little sweetie pie, rolled in honey and tripled dipped in your own self-importance! Look readers, as I’m perfectly happy being a woman and have absolutely no idea what it’s like to go through what must be the agonising heartbreak to live life as one gender, while all the time wishing you were another, I have to say the beautifully sculpted, enhanced – if square-jawed and shovel-handed – Caitlyn is hardly entitled to be hailed and celebrated as the new poster girl for the trans gender community, even if some may see her as one.
In my opinion, and while I respect Caitlyn’s choice, (and envy her fabulous hips), and indeed, I support everyone’s choice to live life in a manner that makes them happiest, there is nothing at all ‘typical’ about this woman’s gender identity struggle.Why?
Because as Bruce, Caitlyn was a stinking-rich, high profile, powerful celebrity and today, she still is. She still has her millions, she still has her media pulling power, she is still part of brand Kardashian which means she will still command major fees when giving interviews and making guest appearances.
She is not, in any shape or form – even if that shape is now a fabulous 36-24-36 – ‘typical’ of many in the transgender community who are eeking out a life on the sidelines, are sadly shunned by family and friends and disgracefully often forced out of their jobs and communities due to certain individuals’ inciting hateful discrimination campaigns against them; dramatically and negatively affecting their mental wellbeing.
You see, due to Jenner’s enormous wealth and celebrity status, her ability to talk pink pedicures with the world’s media, not to mention the fact that her triumphant transformation and global unveiling as a former toothy, all American male athlete to magazine cover girl following a gruelling ten-hour facial feminisation surgical procedure, our heroine will never be disproportionately affected by the ugly realities of life and will continue to enjoy being sheltered and pampered.
While I congratulate Caitlyn and wish her every happiness, while I salute her for her courage and for raising awareness and recognition of the transgender community, I am profoundly sad that so many people who are enormously resilient, many of whom are young children and teens, are still being forced to spend a lifetime – one that’s very often cut short – supressing their much-yearned for and what they believe to be, true identities.
Last month our little country made history by supporting marriage equality; last week, Tánaiste Joan Burton announced the application process under the Gender Recognition Bill which will (for those 18 years and upwards) adopt a self-declaration approach allowing for formal recognition and the issuing of a new birth certificate for transgender people who wish to change their name and gender. Ireland, at last, is coming out of the dark ages and there is light at the end of the tunnel for all its citizens. Hmmm, I wonder how many of them will manage to break the internet!