Call Her Caitlyn: Every Comeback You'll Ever Need to Shut Down a Transphobe
Goodbye Bruce, Hello Caitlyn! Caitlyn Jenner's debut damn near broke the Internet and it was a beautiful thing. She did what so many other people are afraid to do: she's chosen to be herself. She made a decision for her own happiness and I applaud that.
Of course, the response was not all applause. There was a great deal of criticism, condemnation and abusive commentary to be heard. A wide array of reasons why Caitlyn Jenner and transsexuals/transgendered persons everywhere are an abomination abounded. Not a single one of those reasons stand up in an an argument. I imagine a conversation with a naysayer would go a little like this.
"It's a sin!"
When you broke out your dusty King James Version and flipped to the bookmarked pages about sexual abominations and launched into full-length sermons about how disdainful her actions are, how'd you manage skim over that part in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, the same scripture you use to condemn the "sexually immoral," which also states that those who have sex outside of marriage, those who drink to excess, and those who are greedy have also stamped their ticket to hell? So you're condemning Caitlyn while having extra-marital sex and getting drunk every weekend? Interesting.
"That's an act of ingratitude to the Creator!"
Ok, arguments about gods and creators aside, let's simplify this. We can all agree that sometimes, things go wrong with the human body and mind. If a pair of conjoined twins can be safely separated, we endorse it to give them a better chance at life. If a person is born without limbs or loses them in an accident, we support the use of prosthetics or wheelchairs to enhance their mobility and standard of life. If a person experiences mental health issues that can be treated with medications or therapy, we agree to these treatments that will help them lead a more balanced life. Do we call any of these people ungrateful? So if a person is born in a body that doesn't match who they are inside, they are ungrateful for wanting to embrace options that help them to correct that? Strange.
"But...it's just so unnatural!"
This reasoning is actually so silly, it made me laugh out loud, nevertheless, I will try to address it seriously. Many people lost their shit because transsexuality/being transgendered is unnatural. Did you know that Advil, concrete structures, televisions and cell phones, polyester, hair extensions, tattoos, in vitro fertilization, birth control, and a whole host of other things we use and do on a regular basis are also unnatural? But we still use and do them, right? Because we are an advanced species capable of adaptation and technological growth, right? Because we don't want to go back to living in grass huts, wearing animal skins and dying from perfectly treatable diseases, right? Right.
"Aren't they perverted?"
There's this weird assumption that someone who isn't heterosexual and cisgendered is somehow more perverted than anyone else. Sexual divergence is associated with perversity. Someone actually tried to claim that men who get sex changes might just want to perv on women. Are you actually serious? Assuming you are, there are a number of reasons why this just doesn't make any sense. Hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgeries are expensive. Really expensive. And invasive. We're talking about removing penises, the primary sex organ of men. If a man wanted to perv on women, why would he trade his penis for breasts and a vagina? On a not totally unrelated note: transexual/transgendered people experience a great deal of abuse.
. Suicide, assault and murder rates for transsexual people are heartbreakingly high. Not likely anyone is choosing to risk that just for a peek at a woman's cleavage in a public bathroom. Get real.
"Well, what about...?"
Are you even comparing this to something that's marginally relevant? If you come with, Tim Tebow's praying, insults about Michael Jackson's appearance, Akon's (undeniably admirable) charity work or refusal to call Kanye "Yeezus," let me stop you there. First off all, Tim Tebow had his own share of supporters, just as Caitlyn has her critics. There is no comparison here. Same for MJ who probably had far more supporters than naysayers (have you ever seen videos of his concerts?!). Akon's charity work should be acknowledge, yes, but can we not praise two things simultaneously? And Kanye, well, there's a massive difference between his demand that people use his narcissistic nickname and Caitlyn's request that you acknowledge her gender identity. Apples to oranges.
"But It's deceptive!"
I can actually understand the concern here. If you're not down for a partner who is transsexual/transgendered, whatever your reason, you have a right to know, for your sake and for theirs. However, transsexuals/transgendered persons do not have gender reassignment surgery, or take hormones, or wear clothing of the gender they feel most comfortable in to deceive you. They do it because that is who they are. It's not about trickery. The simple solution to this, is to not be a prick about it. If you find out a person you've become interested in was born another gender and you're uncomfortable with that, gently extract yourself. It's your right to have a preference. It's not your right to be mean, aggressive or abusive about it.
"But how will I explain this to my kids?"
You're a parent. It's your job to discuss "difficult" topics with your kids. The same way you tell them about sex, love, war, race, danger, and death, you can sit down and talk to them about transsexuality/transgendered people. Tell them the facts and move on. Talking about it won't make your kids anything but informed. But don't dare deny someone their happiness because you're afraid to talk to your kids about it. Imagine they'll have to explain to their kids why people are so hateful. Your conversation seems a lot easier now, doesn't it?
"Well, it's just wrong!"
This is the desperate cry of those who've exhausted every other argument. Wrong according to who? The Bible or any other religious text? See point number 1. Your own sense of morality? No one actually cares. The law? It's perfectly legal. You don't have a point.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: transsexuals/transgendered people, gays, bisexuals and anyone else who does not meet the standards of 'normal' sexuality have every right to embrace who they are regardless of your feelings. Their happiness should always trump your discomfort, disgust or disdain. Truthfully, you should be more concerned about why you're so hellbent on denying a person the right to be who they are when their actions have nothing to do with you. Imagine someone decided you shouldn't love who you love, wear what you like, go where you please, or change however you wish because it's a sin or it makes them uncomfortable or it's just unnatural. Get over your self. Your feelings aren't that important. Caitlyn Jenner, those who break the norms of sexuality, those who exhibit racial pride, those who follow their dreams, those who simply refuse to let society dictate who they ought to be, they all deserve to be celebrated. So, take your reasons, judgment and excuses elsewhere. To be frank, you don't even have to be accepting. No one can force you to accept anything. And by that same token, stop trying to force your opinion to be accepted as well. Over here, we're dancing to the beat of our own drums and it's one hell of a party.