RE: Caitlyn…or, We’re In the Turning Point

I didn’t think I wanted to say anything specific about the Caitlyn Jenner announcement, but I sent out some tweets today that I think sum up my viewpoint very well. It started with this retweet:

I then followed that with some tweets of my own:

A follower replied to one of my tweets with this:

To which my response was:

So, yes, that pretty  much sums up how I feel. One day, this will be looked at as a turning point. It’s been 18 years since Ellen’s character came out of the closet on national TV. Her show died after that episode, a rather slow and painful death, and her own career suffered for a time afterward, though she has since bounced back strongly. Time will tell if the same thing will happen to Caitlyn Jenner, should she ever need to work again (I’m pretty sure she’s got enough money to survive). Either way, 20 years from now, we’ll be looking at this moment and, though we should be thinking of Chaz Bono and countless others who did it first, it will probably be Caitlyn that we think of as the turning point in transgender acceptance. What we need to remember is that we’re currently in the turning point. There are a lot of people who just plain don’t have the experience of changing how they think of one specific person’s gender in their mind in order to use the correct pronouns in their speech. I’m certain Caitlyn herself is prepared for mistakes; the rest of us ought to be, too. The trick will be knowing when someone is just re-forging those pathways in their own brain, or when they’re deliberately refusing to get it right. In my experience, the difference is usually pretty apparent to anyone who’s paying attention.

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