Bravery is Measured in Multitudes

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My timeline across social media platforms has certainly been filtered and cleaned out these past few days due to the ignorant and unsympathetic opinions of people I wouldn’t even have expected them from. To compare the magnitude of bravery is irrational and nonsensical. A child riding a roller coaster for the first time and conquering his fear of heights is as courageous and brave in his heart as a firefighter is when he risks his life to save others. You wouldn’t compare either party in that circumstance concerning who or what kind of act is braver, because bravery is measured in a variety of multitudes, and can not be measured by anyone besides themselves.

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If you find yourself, or someone you know, hot and bothered about all the attention Caitlyn Jenner has received after her debut, claiming she’s not a real hero compared to such and such, don’t feel an inch of remorse when you block such persons off the internet platform. This is 2015, and you would think by now there would be higher numbers of individuals respectful, compassionate and loving towards racial justice, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, immigration reforms, and everything else needing support, but unfortunately this clearly isn’t the case if any of the backlash Caitlyn Jenner has received is any indicator. And If it’s you who feel hot and bothered, let me attempt to the best of my ability, explain why you can definitely be entitled to feel the way your heart feels, but why it isn’t okay to be disrespectful about it. We are all entitled to our opinions, but we have to respectful and understanding. That comes with referring to Caitlyn Jenner as a she now, not a “he” just because you disapprove.

First, I am going to critique the absurd argument that Caitlyn Jenner is debuting as a publicity stunt. Just to give the “Kardashian’s more hype,” or “This is all a bigger deal than it is ONLY because of who she was and is famous,” and “she’s doing this for the money now that she’s getting a reality show,” everything else along those lines. Just to be blunt, the Kardashian’s don’t have to do anything but breathe to receive a click of a camera and a headline, is that a good thing? No. But, if you were on the end of that stick, what would you do with it? I’ll tell you what Caitlyn Jenner is doing with it. She is using her established fame as an Olympic Champion, and stepfather on a reality show seen by more people than I am comfortable admitting the numbers of, to be an example and activist to a misunderstood community that has received far more hate, negativity and hostility that absolutely no individual should ever undergo. Her spotlight and media attention is being used to her advantage, because she is aware she can become that voice in public eye for the benefit of the LGBTQ communities. You should be familiar with celebrities who actually use their fame and fortune for good deeds, but if you don’t believe who Caitlyn is trying to help needs help, because it’s an issue that makes you hot and bothered, it still doesn’t excuse blatant disrespect and attempts to compare her bravery to others.

“I’m not doing it for money. I’m doing it to help my soul and help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. [I have] house payments and all that kind of stuff. I will never make an excuse for something like that. I’ve gotten a lot from trans women telling their story, and how excited they were to see the Diane piece.” – Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair Interview

Second, I’ve actually seen people accuse Caitlyn Jenner of being selfish. That she should have more respect towards her family and life accomplishments, or that any of this just really isn’t real because she’s been a man her whole life, how does “someone just wake up and become a woman.” Honestly, this could be a whole blog post in itself because I don’t think I’ve ever come across such uninformed and ignorant thought processing. The idea that Caitlyn is selfish to accept herself as who she is, and lacking respect by allowing herself to be happy, is shortsighted and senseless. Every human has fears, has hardships, reasons we share particular things instead of others, and the fact is people are out there accusing and judging Caitlyn as if they’ve never had an internal issue they couldn’t share because their family, much more or less the world, might not understand it.

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“I’ve had secrets my whole life it’s hard not to have secrets. When you carry around a secret for your whole life…you isolate yourself from the world. That’s not a good thing. Am I doing the right thing? I don’t want to hurt people…I don’t want to hurt anyone.” Caitlyn Jenner in “About Bruce” special

That was Bruce Jenner, who relied on sports to make him more masculine in a world, even more so back then, where masculinity is seen as even more rewarding than anything a woman could attempt to be. That was a person who could not be who she wanted to be because she knew more than she feared that the world wouldn’t accept it. It is the same as an earlier blog issue I shared about judging a family in poverty and how they should live their lives, even though the accuser isn’t the one living it. We can have our own opinions, feelings, thoughts, but the second you start claiming that another individual’s decisions in life are not correct based on your standards of what you think is right, is where the lack of compassion and love become evident and a real concern for what I believe applies to the human race as a whole. Especially when one is uneducated, sit down and read interviews, articles, Caitlyn on Diane Sawyer and her “About Bruce” special, then conclude your opinions. If you still think she is selfish, this is all a stunt, or you are still just not accepting of the trans women community, then you are entitled to it. My concern is really the handful of individuals that are sharing their disapproval and bravery comparisons when they are not even willing to attempt to understand. I personally do not understand the current topic of the right to carry arms on campuses, but I am willing to listen to every individual and opinions in order to really wrap my head around it and see where every party is coming from, that is the gift people have, understanding,and remaining respectful, even when we don’t agree with it.

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Lastly, the main point and argument of this blog post. Arguing that Caitlyn Jenner is not brave, compared to others. That her bravery and courage, and hardships, are minuscule or diminished compared to the hardships and accomplishments of others. I think people are posting this case because they either do not accept the trans community from the get-go, hate anything related to the Kardashians, and/or are uninformed and feel like Caitlyn Jenner should not receive all the attention she is getting because they do not know the hostility the trans community has and does receive, or, they just don’t care. 7 trans women have been murdered in 2015, and I do hope anyone reading this does not be believe anyone murdering anyone is justifiable. These women were shot, or stabbed to death. One by her own father. According to Cnn, transgender people are twice as likely to be unemployed and four times more likely to live in poverty compared with the general population. Caitlyn Jenner is coming out and sharing her story with the public, so there will be more understanding, more compassion, so we can look forward to a time where although there might still be prejudice against certain colors, or gender identification, we will not have to lose lives because of it. Caitlyn Jenner is brave because the world expects her to be a man, because that is how she was born. She is brave because she is choosing to go through this process publicly, despite the criticisms she receives that claim is all for more fame and fortune. She is brave because she is choosing to be who she is, although as Laverne Cox put, she lives in a world that thinks she shouldn’t exist. The soldiers, police man, impaled athletes that fight against all odds, other activists, parents who give their all for their children, leaving home then getting that first job after college, the boy scared of heights, are all brave. I really wish we weren’t comparing bravery, but instead celebrating them all together.

BONUS PORTION: For those who are in clear support of Caitlyn Jenner, do not feed the fires. Do not minuscule people’s opinions, it doesn’t get anybody, anywhere. It is to no one’s benefit to argue that others are this and that concerning the issue when you don’t want to understand why they think the way they do. No one’s opinions will change unless we are willing to also understand where they are coming from. That works both ways. Also, do not group together communities, and I am specifically talking about lumping Christians together as not being accepting, senseless or compassionate. I have seen too much of that and it is definitely heartbreaking, and does not help anyone to understand one another. I am proud and even more grateful that Caitlyn Jenner has brought this opportunity to allow people from all different kinds of backgrounds, be it religious, color, gay, straight, lesbian, to be able to understand one another instead of arguing who’s right and wrong. And that begins with the willingness to understand where everyone is coming from, and not retweeting simple-mindedness accusations about other groups of people. Hope I made sense here, I’m rambling now because I’m hungry and need to go! Spread the love to get the love!

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