This week the news has been alive with the buzz about the very stunning Caitlyn Jenner. I’ve seen folk on social media who’ve never been aware of the transgender community, discussing how beautiful she is, likening her to the gorgeous Jessica Lange and actively discussing topics to increase their understanding. This is fantastic, this is something we need in the world and it makes me happy to see.
But with everything that happens in the world, where there is positivity, negativity doesn’t stray too far. I started to become aware of a few articles from those who felt it wasn’t right to make Caitlyn a role model. Some felt it was unfair how she had lots of money for surgeries. As though we shouldn’t celebrate the LGBTQ community if they had a monetary advantage in life. Or some people felt she didn’t represent them well enough, so therefore she shouldn’t be a role model for the transgender community.
This is where it makes me sad that we don’t always stand together as a community. I am not saying we should all stand around wrapped in rainbow flags singing “I am what I am”, but it would be nice to support those who help the visibility of the LGBTQ community in a positive way.
When we ended up the subject of a viral campaign a while ago, I made the mistake of reading the comments beneath the articles. If you ever end up being written about on news sites, don’t ever read these comments, they are rarely positive. But never mind, lesson learned and I read them. One comment from someone who identified as a lesbian stated, “they could have least used attractive lesbians to represent us”. This made me sigh quite heavily. Firstly I think my wife is very attractive and she give me butterflies when she smiles, but by the by. Should our appearance prevent us from standing up and being proud of our sexuality?
I want my son to grow up in a world that is accepting of all humans. I want him to see how his parents were prepared to expose themselves to the good and the bad to help change views, increase awareness and start to make the world a better place just by saying “hey, we are here and we are doing ok”.
Of course choosing a role model is personal and there is no reason why you have to accept what the media dictates as a role model. Go find your own, the internet is a big world and offers many opportunities to find a role model you can identify with. But this doesn’t mean those who get put into mainstream media articles should be beaten down for being up there. Anyone who wants to stand for progress and positive change should be celebrated for their bravery as we are only humans, words can hurt and ignorant comments do get read.
They don’t have to be your role model, but just remember to someone, they are the link that gives them hope.