June 10, 2015

No Judgement Zone: How do You explain Caitlyn Jenner to Your Tween

Photo: Vanity Fair
If the world isn't already confusing enough to a maturing, hormone-charged, muddled brain of a pubescent tween, you have to add Caitlyn Jenner to the equation and upset any well-documented checklist of awkward, hush-hush topics to talk about with a confused tween. Thanks world! As a parent, you've got my work cut out for me. Punk!

So, how one begin to explain another "label" - for the lack of a better term - where even those themselves that is "afflicted" by it have no clear grasp of what they're going through? According to Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner, "He will be learning a lot about himself as he continues his transition."- via Eonline 

If he is this confused, imagine the utter confusion of those around them who are not aware that they are transgendered.

I'm a classic example of the utterly confused. True story.

Hiding behind the cloak of anonymity
For several years, I, unwittingly, got suckered into believing that my friend was a woman. She looked all too woman at every angle to me. Although, I've always noticed that something didn't seem quite right about her appearance. And the crazy part of it was, I thought she was lesbian. A woman trying to look like a man. The reason I thought this was because there was a certain masculinity to her features. She was utterly tall, a little muscular and have the stocky built of a man. She looked more like a tomboy than a feminine gal. She also dated more women, then lately men, so that added more to my confusion. I went on believing this misconception about her for years.

Then the death of Leelah Alcorn made nationwide news.

My rude awakening came immediately after that. My friend emotionally impacted by her death, finally revealed her own truth. I went nuts! I was floored. I couldn't believe it. As it was, she was a transgender woman: A man wanting to be a woman and not the other way around as I thought. I could have never guessed that. Not in a million years.

Now, I have no idea why she kept it secret from everyone for a long time. We heard hearsay and rumors about her alleged individuality but nothing was ever confirmed.

Honestly, even after her revelation, I'm still as confused as to what being transgender really means, because clearly, they do not fall into the same category as being lesbian or gay or bi or whatever label people put on individuals who are different, or not conforming to the social norm.

So, we go back to the dilemma of "how do I explain what transgender is to my tween?"

Obviously watching and seeing Bruce Jenner transitioning into this sexy, gorrrrgeous woman and plastered all over the place is no help at all. The only thing it did was give news outlets covering her story high ratings and profit for magazines covering her transformation. Although to his credit, coming out like that added voice to this misunderstood community.

Google it? No, forget it. All that definition and technical term is enough to drive you insane and will only confuse you more, but you can try and expound your explanation based on that. Good luck.

Or... you can just watch these films and let it and its transgender lead cast explain it for you:

Lady Valor. This is the documentary of transgender woman Kristin Beck who used to be Christopher Beck, a highly decorated retired US Navy SEAL. She was once married and have two kids. She came out in 2013. The documentary is available on Netflix.

Boy Meets girl. This is an award-winning movie tackling the conflicting life of a transgender woman, Ricky, portrayed by Michelle Hendley, a transgender in real life, and of being transgender. Rotten tomatoes gave it an 85% rating and is available on netflix.

A note of warning: There is one frontal nude scene from Hendley and straightforward talks about the birds and the bees in this film. Caution is advised if you want to watch it with your tween.

Wandering Son. This is the story of two transgender teens. A boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy. An odd friendship that was brought together by a secret that only them truly understands. This is a Japanese anime tv series (subtitled) available on Crunchyroll.

We do live in a crazy world with so many crazy stuff happening. The last thing one can do is add to the craziness and spew hate. Bruce Jenner and all the Caitlyn Jenner in this world did not chose to be born this way. Heck, there's not even a way to choose who your parents are going to be. Would be nice if you can but no. They were born this way and the last thing they need is to be judged and hated. If they were your family, I'm sure the best thing you will hope for is that they be accepted for who they are. Afterall, we will all die and will be accountable for all the things we did while we were still alive - if you believe that much. Otherwise, let me say this - Karma is a bitch! 

And will bite you back hard like what happened to this douchebag:  The ironic story of this critic whose Facebook post referencing Caitlyn Jenner and True Bravery went viral only to kick him back in the butt. 

So, please NO hate. Just acceptance and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Tell your tweens that too.

Johanna hit it.  R.E.S.P.E.C.T....

video: Elena Colon


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