Just for the record, Bruce Jenner is not the first Trans person to come out later in life and indeed will not be the last.
As someone who doesn't really buy into all this Celebville rubbish, I really don't understand what the big deal is. Here we have someone with access to the best surgery money can buy and who chose to tell the world about his transition, he has a successful pack of status/attention seeking people around him.
Compare this to my father who came out when I was a teenager. Who went through electric shock therapy in the 1960's to cure her. Who was told time and time again that the fact she felt trapped in the wrong body was "just a phase". So she raised four children, ran a successful business and when the pain become too much she moved to London to transition. Trying hard to fly below the radar.
I watched the damage caused to friends as I grew up whose fathers were alcoholics and enjoyed the Sunday afternoon kick around (of the mother and anyone else in the vicinity). So my dad was changing sex and wearing a dress, even in my teens it was no big deal, and even less so today.
My acceptance of my father's transition is not something I wish to be applauded for; the support I have given, is nothing in the face of the support I was given by my father! Why indeed is the approval of his children so newsworthy? I would suggest that because the media still sees transgender people as being oddities, with their 1970's tropes about Tran's people and their families. Therefore for a celeb to 'come out' makes them 'brave' and their families to be 'wholly accepting'. Whereas for the ordinary Trans person the story is far more uninspiring and pebbled with discrimination, abuse and difficulty.
If the tabloids bothered talking to real people from the transgender community, not the academics or the media whores, the ordinary people who do ordinary jobs with ordinary families. They will see it is society that makes it a big deal; fuelled by the media's depiction of transgender people. The media to sell papers, continuously serve up sexual tales in their slightly depreciating tone or tales of grandiose macho men who *giggle giggle* change sex!
My dad was a great dad, we travelled the world, and we talked about everything. He made me the person I am today, perhaps if he was a complete arse my judgement would have been made on that; he had a sex change, not a brain transplant!
I just don't understand how this one person publicly coming out will change things for the Transgender community? I cannot comprehend the tabloid assertion how wonderful we all are for accepting this. Accepting what? Who are we as a society to judge who and what we accept? And to that extent who am I as my father's daughter to dictate whether I will accept or not, her transition?
My dad spent years living as a woman in order to satisfy the requirements of the NHS. Being publicly vilified and shamed in her workplace, undergoing hours of psychiatric treatment and working in jobs she was overqualified for because no one would employ her as Transgender. Eventually having the wonder operation (a vagina) which really made no difference in the end (but that is another story for another day).
My dad, Christine Goodwin, took the UK Government to the European Court of Human Rights, for the right to change birth certificates, so that no one else would have to experience what she did. The abuse, the humiliation, the pain and suffering from society. She won her case, which led to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and all the subsequent legislation, she died penniless and forgotten.
So who is the heroine? Bruce Jenner for using his fame to come out on live TV? Or my father who came out late because of a society who told him he was a 'pervert'? Who successfully changed legislation the effects of which are felt across the world?
Maybe I am bias, I will let whoever reads this decide. What saddens me is my father's hedonistic transition was spent fighting for justice and against discrimination; she never had the chance to enjoy being a woman and was never applauded and recognised. Bruce Jenner is now being held up as the poster person for the Transgender community; we will watch his transformation in every news outlet: will this stop young people committing suicide? Will it change society's attitudes?
Promoting ordinary people who may have contributed extra ordinary things to the community is what society understands. A media hungry successful syndicate family, who just happen to have a transgender parent, cheapens the lives of so many who came before.