Bruce Jenner's interview where he detailed his decision to transition from male to female was inspiring, informative and most importantly brave. By choosing to come out as transgender, Bruce has managed to educate the masses about the heartbreaking process of being trans and the courage it has taken to make the leap into leading the life that he wants to lead.
Bruce's interview contained lots of important quotes that can be taken and used in real life. However, for me, the most significant thing that Bruce said was 'kids are very adaptable'.
From the moment that we are born, we adapt to the circumstances around us. In schools we are taught to read and write and to speak Spanish and to find the size of angle X, yet we are still not being taught to accept other people's decisions when it comes to leading the life that they want to lead. Homosexuality is rightfully becoming more and more accepted, however in schools the subject is brushed under the carpet in order 'to protect the vulnerable minds of children'. This is causing an ignorance when it comes to an increasingly diverse society. It is all of our job to teach acceptance so that future generations can adapt and create a world that is welcoming for all regardless of the country they are from, the people they may love or the way they look.
Kids are born kids. Kids aren't born racist, homophobic or transphobic. They adapt to the views that are held by the older people around them. This leads to a vicious cycle that is still active today. A parent believes 'immigrants are taking our jobs', says these views in the vicinity of a child, the child ADAPTS and becomes xenophobic. A grandparent thinks it's 'wrong' that a man and a man that love each other can get married, says these views to a child, the child ADAPTS and becomes homophobic. The media forces men to be masculine and women to be feminine and states that it is 'weird' to not conform to these expectations. In the run up to Jenner's coming out, the media ridiculed and bullied Bruce for showing effeminate tendencies, leading to people ADAPTING and thinking it was 'weird' too.
Those that hold prejudices should not use children as a means to disguise them. A child can adapt to accept that the Tooth Fairy is real in the same way that they can adapt to accept social minorities. Perhaps the problem is that adults can't adapt to change?
I commend Diane Sawyer for conducting a thoughtful and sympathetic interview which allowed Bruce to tell his side and his story. Bruce, your family should be proud that you are helping the world to adapt their views on transgender people, and for that you should be proud too. Not only are you being a role model for other transgender people, you are being a teacher and teaching us that it is okay to be who you are born to be.