Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bruce Jenner: all-American then and now (re: Emily Yahr's profile, Style section, Washington Post, February 5, 2015)

I congratulate Emily Yahr on her insightful profile of the many lives of Bruce Jenner.  In the seventies, as an Olympian, Mr. Jenner epitomized that age's American spirit and representation of athletic masculinity.  Over the proceeding decades societal views of what it is to symbolize the American male has changed favorably to include broader definitions.  Like the times, Mr. Jenner has evolved into a greater acceptance of self.  Indeed, when the inner gender identity does not match one's outer appearance it is like being a prisoner in one's own body.  Psychologically, I can think of nothing tougher.  To compound that internal, private struggle with the very public glare of celebrity by coming out as transgender is an act of extreme courage.  Despite naysayers claims that Mr. Jenner's transition is nothing more than a stunt designed to earn a few bucks, Ms. Yahr explains that his sharing of his life's journeys with the world is part and parcel of Mr. Jenner's character.  And similar to his Olympic glory which inspired a past generation, Mr. Jenner's tenacious example to follow his own path will save lives of a new generation of at-risk gender-questioning young people that know nothing of his decades-old decathlon gold metal.

Note: A staggering 41% of transgender people in the United States have attempted to commit suicide, according to one survey. (, 11/19/2010)

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