ESPN’s First Transgender Employee Praises Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPYs …

18 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bob Costas’ Criticism of Caitlyn Jenner Is Wrongheaded, Offensive—and Understandable.

The transgender star, 65, is finally getting to wear the outfits she’s always wanted to and she’s copying the Duchess of Cambridge’s look, right down to those perfect princess curls.Following Jenner’s much publicized plea for trans acceptance at the 2015 ESPY Awards on July 15, Berg took to his Instagram account to repost a highly circulated meme deriding the Olympian decathalon runner’s recent notoriety: I have the utmost respect for Caitlyn Jenner and I am a strong supporter of equality and the rights of trans people everywhere.

After receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs on Wednesday, Caitlyn Jenner gave a powerful speech in which she declared, “It is an honor to have the word ‘courage’ associated with my life.” But not everybody thinks Jenner’s very public gender transition displayed the kind of courage usually associated with the award.The Jenner family united over transgender patriarch Caitlyn’s ESPYs speech on Wednesday night – and speaking for the first time since, former wife Kris has finally praised her ex’s bravery. At an awards bash earlier this week former decathlete Caitlyn slipped into a floor-length Atelier Versace white gown in her first formal appearance as a woman. I also believe that we don’t give enough attention to our courageous returning war veterans, many of whom have sacrificed their bodies and mental health for our country and our principals- principals that include the freedom to live the life you want to live without persecution or abuse.

Naturally, the momager ensured that she stole the limelight as she attended the Amazon Prime Summer Soiree, held at the fancy Sunset Towers in West Hollywood, California, before breaking her silence about the speech that everyone’s talking about. Of course, it’s pretty gross for a man of such cultural clout and influence to so glibly dismiss a significant moment in the fight for transgender equality.

The former Olympic champion had urged athletes to be more accepting of transgender people, by saying: ‘This transition has been harder on me than anything I could have imagined.’ ‘And that’s the case for so many others besides me. In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could’ve found someone—and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner—who was much [more] actively involved in sports, who would’ve been deserving of what that award represents. Applauding Caitlyn Jenner for her bravery in the face of relentless —and up until very recently, overwhelmingly anti-trans—public scrutiny does not lessen one’s admiration for the men and women who sacrifice life and limb to protect the United States on the battlefield. The revealing top boasted delicate pearl embellishment flashed Kris’ black bra in all its glory while drawing heaps of attention to her ample assets. Kendall shrouded her lean and slender frame underneath an off-white coloured cardigan and a knee-length dress, which showcased her trim, sun-kissed limbs.

Kris – who has daughters Kendall and 17-year-old Kylie with Caitlyn as well as children Kourtney, 36, Kim, 34, Khloe, 31, and Rob, 28, with the late Robert Kardashian – also spoke on the evening about how much she loves spending time with her family. ‘I love being with my kids,’ she told Us Weekly. ‘I was on my way here to support the girls, the Foster girls, and I called Kendall and said, ‘Get over here, let’s go there for a minute and I’ll take you to dinner.’ That’s the way it goes in my family, it’s always spontaneous.’ This view seems to be pretty common among a certain kind of sports commenter: straight men who have never before discussed trans issues but suddenly feel qualified to hold forth on the merits of Jenner’s bravery. Frankly, Peter Berg invites comparison by perpetuating such wrongheaded memes, proving that his priorities are the opposite of pragmatic—he’s really just a fool drawing erratic comparisons for social media points.

It’s also a classic move for defenders of the socio-cultural status quo—we shouldn’t be focusing on feminism, or racial equality, or trans advancement because there are “more important things going on.” And apparently adult humans are incapable of multitasking. But by using these negative terms, Costas implies that Jenner brought this negative attention on herself—and that praising her necessarily involves feeding into “tabloid” “exploitation.” This notion is profoundly offensive.

As readers of Jenner’s Vanity Fair profile know, Jenner struggled with her gender identity for decades, even attempting to quietly transition in the 1980s. Because our soldiers are at a more visibly higher risk of physical danger (we won’t talk about the fact that 46% of trans men and 42% of trans women attempt suicide in the US), they deserve all of our attention at all times; and attention diverted anywhere else is attention diverted to definitively frivolous causes. This time around, Jenner elected to take control of the inevitable publicity surrounding her transition, telling the true story before the tabloids made up their own.

Her fears were validated when In Touch ran a repulsively transphobic cover story imagining Jenner as a woman—before she publicly confirmed that she was transitioning. Magazines and award shows won’t cure that problem overnight, but entry into the cultural mainstream is essential for any group hoping to one day bypass the strictures of discrimination. But that doesn’t mean Jenner somehow asked for endless tabloid speculation over her gender identity—or that she somehow deserved to receive constant tabloid scrutiny during her transition. They need better funded post-combat PTSD counseling; particularly for female veterans, who commit suicide at a rate of more than five times their civilian counterparts. The earliest openly gay stars—Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres—had to contend with fascination (and disgust) with their sexuality overshadowing their actual careers.

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