Perhaps the one point worth making here is that Bruce Jenner is 66 years old. Not 26, not 36, not even 46 — he/she/whatever is 66. At the risk of sounding crass, when a 66 year old woman walks into a plastic surgeon and has herself converted into a 20-odd year old woman, what do we think? That she really identifies as a younger woman and deserves the surgery? Or, “wow, that’s pretty sick — she’s not really setting a good example for children in terms of body image…” And yet, when a 66 year old man goes into surgery and comes out as a 20-odd year old woman, we all say, “wow, how cool!”
Shouldn’t we be thinking something’s wrong here — regardless of the transgender bits surrounding this story?
I am perfectly willing to grant that Jenner does not feel comfortable being a man. And I don’t doubt that he wants to be able to think of himself as a woman. But judging from what we’ve seen so far, his concept of what it means to be a woman consists—in the absence of the actual experiences that would form a genuine female psychology—of a grab-bag of stereotypes and clichés. It’s drag queen femininity: an exaggerated parody of the real thing.
For the record, I’m not even comfortable with the transgender bits. Is it at all possible we’re taking the “be anything you want to be” and “follow your dreams” a bit too far for once? Or must we accept and support everyone, no matter what they “identify” as?