After winning the Arthur Ashe courage award at the EPSY ceremony on July 15th in Los Angeles, Caitlyn Jenner delivered a moving speech that’s received a lot of reactions. It takes lots of Tweets and YouTube shares to spread it across the world:
This sobering speech doesn’t leave us feeling indifferent towards issues of sexual minority rights and the acceptance of transgender persons. Here are a few things we should remember:
1. The cost of blending in
It’s a very high cost. Medication, breast augmentation, electrolysis … there are lots of expensive cosmetic surgeries. Although Caitlyn Jenner’s body was sculpted by America’s most agile surgeons, this isn’t usually the case. Unfortunately, most people who decide to undergo a change of identity are unable to afford such procedures. indeed, the life of a transgender person is far removed from the glamour and fireworks that emanate from Caitlyn Jenner’s fabulous life, which is estimated at approximately, let’s say, 100 million.
2. Being transsexual doesn’t always mean being gay
Wanting to label and categorize people is human nature. It comes from a desire to better understand our surroundings, and although this behavior is normal, it’s still important to learn in order to put things into perspective before making judgments. Gender identity and sexual orientation are two distinct concepts. Gender identity is built through environmental influences (through our education and interactions with peers), and refers to an individual’s feeling of belonging to a certain gender, whether it’s male or female. Sexual orientation refers to a method of attraction (physical, psychological, or emotional), to the opposite sex, the same sex, or both. With that being said, wanting a sex change does not necessarily alter someone’s sexual orientation.
3. The LGBT community still has a long way to go
Although the community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people have continued to gain rights and an increased social acceptance worldwide that’s been increasing every year, unfortuantely, discrimination based on sex, identity, and gender expression is still topical. The best weapon against these forms of discrimination? Recognition, education, and openness to what’s considered “different.” As Caitlyn so eloquently put it, “We’re all different. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. And while it may not be easy to get past the things you don’t always understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”
4. Authenticity trumps beauty
Certainly, Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out has triggered a wave of inspirational messages and hope. Despite the media world’s abundant praise for her beauty, Caitlyn still managed to publicize the issues that matter. What’s really beautiful about all of this? Watching someone’s determination to achieve despite the pressure, fear, and reluctance displayed in the open. Is there anything more beautiful than being able to be true to yourself? We don’t think so.
Hats off to Caitlyn.