I’ve been watching I Am Cait because I’m glad there’s this platform for our Trans brothers and sisters on television every week, though I grow bored by the more Kardastrophe-esque moments of Cait, like where she’s picking out her wardrobe and such.
But the parts of the show that focus on trans youth, and this issues surrounding being young and transgendered, from bullying at school to bullying at home, to homelessness, to even trying to survive and live in this world as a trans person, I find very interesting and compelling.
Caitlyn herself? Well, she’s interesting at times, but she’s far from the most interesting person on that show.
But I did watch Cait being interviewed this week on Ellen and figured it would be a Kardastrophe-type fluff piece, and I am pleased to say I was wrong … though I was still annoyed.
As the chat turned toward the topic of same-sex marriage, I remembered the Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer, before he transitioned, in which he claimed to be a lifelong member of the GOP.
And it appears that Caitlyn hasn’t changed that position; which is fine, you know, because she can choose whichever political party she chooses, though why she opts for one that dismisses her outright, and belittles her constantly — think Mike Huckabee’s asinine comments suggesting people say their trans so they can shower with the opposite sex — is beyond me.
But here’s where Cait got to me on Ellen:
“I’m a traditionalist. I’m older than most people in the audience. I kind of like tradition, and it’s always been a man and a woman. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t quite get it.’ But, I think, like a lot of people on this issue, I have really changed my thinking here to, ‘I don’t ever want to stand in front of anybody’s happiness.’ That’s not my job, okay? If that word – ‘marriage’ – is really, really that important to you, I can go with it.”
Gosh, thanks for your support, no matter how tepid. Well, actually, no … no thanks, after all. There are a great many people older than you—my dad comes to mind instantly—who once had that same opinion on same-sex marriage but realized the importance of that word to our community and understood what that means to be able to say, ‘We’re married.’
It isn't semantics, Caitlyn, it's equality. We don't want "the word," we want equality.
But I will give it to Ellen DeGeneres who, while appearing this week on Howard Stern, said she was a bit taken back by Caitlyn’s remarks:
“She still has a judgment about gay marriage. I said, ‘You’re wanting people to understand and accept you, this is like really confusing to people. And you want us to understand, and that you still have a judgment about gay people and marriage.’ And she goes, ‘Well, she said if the word ‘marriage’ is that important … and I was like, ‘It is, because that’s the word.’ Like, we want the same thing.”
Let me see if I can explain it to Caitlyn like this: You say that you are a traditionalist and view marriage as being between a man and a woman, and yet, while living as a man, you had three separate wives; I’m missing the traditional in that.
And when you sort of suggest that the term marriage not be used in a same-sex marriage — because marriage is man and woman in your mind — that seems almost to me like someone who has yet to evolve wanting to call you Bruce, and to use the improper pronouns when talking about you because they are traditionalists and don’t “believe” transgender is a real thing.
You cannot have it both ways, Cait; you cannot say that the word ‘marriage,’ in your mind, is just for male-female unions, and then ask that the world understand that after sixty-something years we have to call you by new names and new pronouns. You can’t be the icon of change and then deny the gay men and women who want to be married, who want the same things as our straight counterparts, be subjected to using a different, less traditional word.
The world changes; same-sex unions, legal same-sex unions are becoming normal and accepted — well, outside of a small county in Kentucky, at least — and the same goes for trans people.
The visibility of our Trans brothers and sisters is on the rise — thanks in no small part to Caitlyn — and we are all learning to accept and understand new words, and new descriptions, new ideas and new traditions.
And Caitlyn needs to learn that, too. Marriage isn’t just a word; it’s an ideal that belongs to all of us, regardless of sexual orientation.