My Two Cents on the Whole Bruce Jenner Thing
As I have reported here on this blog before, I am an Olympics fanatic. It’s probably the only sports games that I still follow religiously. In fact sporting competitions that I could never explain why I would even follow such as Skulls (rowing) are ones that I am absolutely glued to during the Olympic games. (Luging would be another, however I draw the line at Curling)
So way back in 1976, a very good year as I recall, I followed the summer Olympics and was among the millions of people who watched Bruce Jenner win one of the toughest gold medals of all – in the Decathlon event. The Decathlon consists of being best in a variety of disciplines – running, high jumping, pole vaulting, etc. How on earth these athletes excel in so many disciplines at once is still a mystery to me.
As our hero that summer, Bruce Jenner was a media fixture, but not really, because that was only in terms of what was available in 1976 which was nothing compared to today. Then he became a media fixture again with the whole silly Kardashian thing, that I don’t get at all. (Famous for being famous?)
I mean, there is a whole generation who wouldn’t know what Bruce Jenner ever accomplished, which was an amazing feat. He is simply the step-dad to some Kardashians, and father to two of the upcoming Jenners associated with the show.
And then, as many of our sports heroes do, (Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods etc) I saw Jenner’s hero fall. Not a spectacular fall like some others, but instead of the idol we thought we had, he turned into a regular human with real problems. First with one marriage failing after another with an affair, while floundering with career choices, and then with too much plastic surgery and the whole overexposure due to the Kardashian alliance. Who was even thinking of the great Bruce Jenner and all he accomplished in athletics? No one at that point, not even me. Pawning himself for celebrity via a reality show is really classless in my opinion – he seems so shallow, although I admit I never watched a Kardashian episode.
Little did I know, he was struggling with a life-changing secret all those years. Little did I know what that once virile and hunky athlete was fighting internally in his own mind and body.
It takes a whole level of bravery that most of us will never know to go out and win a gold medal, especially in a mulit-disciplinary sport. But then again, he has surpassed that level of bravery once again, by revealing his true nature to the world. A world who judges people like him as he currently has revealed himself quite harshly. To many he will now be known as a freak or worse.
Not me though. I admit I judged him harshly through the years of the overdone plastic surgery, the Kardashian association, etc. But now I laud him. I respect him. I can’t imagine how he got the strength to reveal his true persona, at least the one that is the most true for him.
Recently, a television show got a bunch of attention by winning some Golden Globe awards. The Transparent series on Amazon is about a Bruce Jenner, a father who in his late, late life decides to transition from man to woman. And now Jenner will share his experience in a reality series. Come on people, that’s all he knows how to do now. Maybe by doing that all of us will finally understand what people like him go through to endure a transition like that. Or maybe it’s just for the quick payday again.
We will wait and see how Bruce Jenner’s all too public life now plays out. I wish him the best of luck as he becomes a she. Feel free to add your comments below!
My experience with Bruce Jenner mirrored yours in just about every way. It is unimaginable to think that a person can live 60 years and never feel free to be their true self. I applaud her courage to finally say to the world “this is who I am” and hope the interview last night enlightened many and will serve as an inspiration to those who are facing the same tortuous existence.
I read the only one who has a problem with this is his ex-wife, the one with the gender neutral name. How coll would that be if Bruce changed his name to Kris?
Gary and I have friends where the wife’s name is Brucie. (pronounced Bruce-E) True story.