When I saw the first picture last night of Bruce Jenner’s transformation to ‘Caitlyn’ I felt like I was slapped in the face with the hand of confusion. Confusion about whether I should be happy about it, confusion about what he’s going through, and confusion about whether people are saying what they truly feel about him/her. So if I’m going through these emotions when I don’t even know Bruce, how must his family really feel about it? I can’t imagine that their supportive tweets of “Just finished watching the #BruceJennerInterview with the family. Bruzer, I’m soooo proud of you! Dads really are heros <3″ and “Proud son (…)” portray the entirety of their feelings; they’re hiding their anger and sadness.
The former tweet is from Khloe Kardashian, the family member that even Bruce admitted has taken the news of his transformation the hardest and is finding it hard to accept. There’s a reason that she didn’t tweet something like “Don’t know how I’m gonna deal with this, I don’t understand him and i’m upset that I won’t have a father figure anymore :-(” because she knows she’d be met with criticism. She’d probably be met with criticism because people would confuse her anger and upset with disapproval; but they are very different emotions. I can guarantee that every member of the Kardashian/Jenner family feels confused, upset and angry by Bruce’s transformation, but they will accept it and support him because they love him unconditionally.
Of course we should admire Bruce’s bravery and support him every step of the way because transgender people shouldn’t be discriminated against at all. But if you can imagine your own father, uncle, grandad or brother deciding to live life as a woman then you can start to imagine how hard it would be to actually be happy about it. Accepting it would be easy because you love them; being happy about it would take a long time and may never even happen (this isn’t to say you can’t fake the feelings). You’d be much happier if they stayed the person (and gender) you knew well.
I think it’s also ironic that this is happening to the Kardashian family, because their biological father passed away when they were little and now some would say they’ve lost another dad. Strangely enough I’m actually watching an episode of ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ as I write this and when I see the old typically macho (although sweetly sensitive) Bruce it makes it even harder to believe that he is now going to be addressed as Caitlyn. No matter how many episodes I watch, it won’t sink in.
In Bruce’s interview with Vanity Fair he explained: “You never want it to look like a guy in a dress, ok? If you’re gonna do that, come out, you really have to look the part, you have to look very feminine (…) my presentation is extremely important (…).” I think because of the fact that he actually does make a damn good woman, it makes it harder to believe it’s true because it feels like there is no Bruce left at all; he is gone and there is an unfamiliar woman in his place. Hopefully his family don’t feel this way and they still feel they can relate to Bruce, call him dad, and talk to him in the same way; though I’m sure it’ll take some getting used to, but people have to understand it will take a long time to adjust to Caitlyn. I know it’ll take a while for me to, let alone his own family!
It’s great that Bruce’s transformation has caused a wave of support for the transgender people around the world. I just wish people would truly speak their minds about it. His family, the media, and fans can say they’re so happy about Caitlyn Jenner’s existence until they’re blue in the face, but it would be more beneficial for people to talk about the fact that actually it’s very hard to be happy with it and that being confused about it is a completely natural feeling. If Bruce can reveal his true feelings, with risk of being abused and rejected, then we have no excuse not to reveal ours. Besides, it would be nice for Bruce to know that he’s not the only one who’s feelings are confused.