Jezebel can’t wait to see more

What the hell is this about?

Jezebel on Facebook:


You look great, Caitlyn! Can’t wait to see more.

Then a glam photo of Jenner in a strapless dress with long flowing hair and tasteful makeup.

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair Cover Is Here, and She Looks Amazing

Caitlyn (née Bruce) Jenner has revealed her name (spelled with a C!) and her new look—photographed by Annie Leibovitz—on the cover of next month’s Vanity Fair.

So she looks great, so what? Isn’t Jezebel supposed to be at least nominally feminist? Isn’t feminism in large part about not reducing women to their looks? Why does that suddenly change when the subject is a trans woman? What am I missing here?


  1. luzclara says

    I have always believed that feminism meant that we do not have to look like C. Jenner and that we are free to be who we are and be valued no matter what we look like. Feminism saved my life when I was 18 and completely fucked up and defeated by the expectations that were placed on me as a young woman.

    In this context, “you look amazing” really means “you look amazing considering that you were born a man and it’s amazing what make up, Photoshop and maybe facial surgery and other surgical enhancements have made you into.”

    I didn’t read it b/c I don’t read this kind of thing. But, do they ask “Are you happy? Comfortable? Do you feel like yourself at last?”

  2. says

    Considering that the magazine is self-declared about vanity, it seems entirely appropriate.

    Otherwise, I’m happy for Jenner if Jenner’s happy. Presumably Jenner posed for the cover shoot voluntarily, perhaps even enthusiastically.

    With respect to glamorous photos; they’re pretty eye-candy for the readers. There are some readers that like that stuff and I suppose it would make no difference if the cover was a 3D rendering by WETA or a human being with no makeup or a human being with a lot of makeup.

  3. says

    But what is Jenner saying to other trans women, for instance? Not to mention all the sub-beautiful women in the world. I don’t think being happy if Jenner is happy is good enough. We could say the same thing about people whose happiness is throwing sexist or racist epithets around.

  4. says

    Yeah, the “really means” in comment 1 and the unusual use of “Jenner” repeatedly in comment 2 when most people would start flipping to pronouns.

  5. says

    Ophelia Benson writes:
    But what is Jenner saying to other trans women, for instance? Not to mention all the sub-beautiful women in the world.

    That’s going to apply to any magazine cover anywhere any time. The complaint is the same whether it’s a highly glammed-up photoshopped trans person, a 3d artifact, or a model of any other gender. Hell, same objection applies if there’s an airbrushed photo of a Ferrari on the cover; am I going to feel like my car is inadequate? What message does it send, etc. Viewers have whatever reaction they’re going to have. A glamour magazine like VF, that has glammed-up photoshopped covers always is always a legitimate target for complaints about glamour in general as well as the subject in particular.

    I don’t know what the cover “says” to any individual trans person because I only know what it “says” to me. (If you care to know, it says: “Meh, flat lighting. Did Testino shoot that?”)

    @Tabby Lavalamp #2:
    No, I don’t interpret any meaning in a magazine cover. The meaning of the cover is entirely in how the reader interprets it. People will have a wide variety of reactions to it, depending on who they are and how they feel. If my wording seemed cautious it was because I was trying to construct my sentences without using gendered pronouns.

  6. says

    Marcus @7 – The wording did read very strange and one thing I’ve learned is to use preferred pronouns. I know when the name was still “Bruce”, Jenner said to use “he”, but I’m assuming now that she’s using Caitlyn, “she” should probably be appropriate.

  7. says

    That’s going to apply to any magazine cover anywhere any time.

    Yes, I know it is. Of course it is. So what? “That criticism can be widely applied.” Yes; and?

  8. chigau (違う) says

    The Wikipedia page has a name change ongoing revisions of pronouns.
    Mostly from he to she.

  9. says

    And when it’s uncertain and/or new which pronoun is preferred then there’s the option of using names. I don’t think that should be considered transphobic.

  10. says

    So what? “That criticism can be widely applied.” Yes; and?

    So it’s just as valid as any other time!!

    I am not sure what you’re objecting to. Is it the over-photoshopping? Is it the flat lighting to remove age-lines? Is it the glamourous outfit? Is it the plastic surgery? Is it going to make some people uncomfortable? Is it going to make other people go “awwwwww”?

    Yes to all of the above. So what? Does the standard litany of complaints about representation somehow apply in special super particular to this cover? I don’t think so.

    Glamourous retouched overphotoshopped flat-lit pictures of people is what Vanity Fair always does. Personally, it does nothing for me. It appears to have made Jezebel go “awwwwww” and it appears to be irritating you.

    So what’s so specially bad about this example of a generic glamour photo? I don’t see anything. You tell me!

  11. screechymonkey says

    Ophelia, how familiar are you with Jezebel? Because I read it regularly, and while it is feminist-leaning, it regularly posts photos of actresses on the red carpet, etc. and talks about how fabulous they look. (‘Regularly” as in it’s not unusual, not in the sense that it’s the predominant theme.) Where Jezebel differs from many other publications is that they don’t limit who can look fabulous — they praise various body types, ages, etc. Maybe that’s “bad” feminism; I don’t know. But I don’t think they’re being inconsistent or singling Caitlin out for special treatment.

  12. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I’m puzzled why some of you are acting as if it’s hard to understand why Ophelia is questioning the use of this photo. Just because this type of glamour photo is common in such magazines does not mean that Ophelia is being weird when objecting to it/asking about it. Your questions imply —-clearly—that you are surprised to read what she says because, “Don’t you understand all magazines do this?”

    What does that have to do with it? Nothing. Why do you seem to think Ophelia thinks this is a novelty? Why do you believe she wouldn’t ask these questions if she knew what these magazines were like?

    This is like saying, “I’m not sure how familiar you are with chain restaurants, but they all put brand names on their food.” So. What? Yes, and?

    What’s your surprise about?

  13. xyz says

    Bringing this up specifically in the case of a trans woman is… well… interesting. And I don’t think you have the same attitudes on beauty politics as many trans feminists, Ophelia, so why universalize your approach.

  14. quixote says

    If trans women are women, then the whole objectification shtick is just as odious applied to them as it is to other women. (I think that’s Ophelia’s point?) Be whatever gender you want, by all means. But — and this to me is the point — if you’re a supposedly feminist publication, what’s up with celebrating extreme patriarchal stereotyping? The cover may be Vanity Fair, but it’s Jezebel celebration of it that is the topic of the post.

    I know. It’s reaching to call Jezebel feminist in any real sense of the word. But crowing over packaged “femininity” is so far from feminist it’s worth pointing out the distance between the two.

  15. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    I see your ugly insinuation (“bringing this up with a trans woman is . . interesting”) and I call bullshit. Stop poisoning the conversation.

  16. Anne Marie says

    18. I don’t see how that’s an ugly insinuation or poisoning the conversation. I haven’t seen a post like this about Kim Kardashian and how she’s ruining feminism.

  17. Anne Marie says

    Also, I don’t see how saying someone looks great reduces them solely to their looks anymore than saying someone’s smart reduces them to their intellect. How it’s done matters, obviously.

    No one at Jezebel has read the article yet because it’s not out. The actual post says, “The cover is stunning, and the profile, written by Buzz Bissinger, is certainly going to be a must-read.” Calling a photograph of a woman on a magazine stunning hardly seems to be the end of feminism as we know it.

  18. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Anne Marie: I assume a basic level of familiarity with the blog and its owner for folks who comment here. Most people who comment, but not all, do have that basic level of familiarity.

    Those who do have no good reason to withhold the benefit of the doubt and assume that Ophelia is motivated by transphobia. No, I won’t brook any argument on that—if someone seriously claimed there was no track record by which to judge if Ophelia was motivated by unreconstructed bigotry, they’d be acting dishonestly.

    If YOU, personally, don’t have that level of familiarity, that’s just as it is. But if you do, and you’re claiming that, even still, you think that’s a reasonable motivation for a commenter to assume, then we’re in stark disagreement.

  19. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    “The end of feminism as we know it.”

    I realize that’s hyperbole, but it’s not appropriate hyperbole. It feels like a really unfair and mis-aimed piece of snark. No one even got close to that. Really. That wasn’t called for.

  20. Anne Marie says

    Josh: I’m not new here. I’ve also read the thread on facebook about this as well as the one last week about the idea of TERFs. It’s ridiculous to act as though someone’s track record makes them immune from making a mistake or being critiqued.

    But thanks for policing me on what I’m allowed to say and think.

  21. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Oh stop it, Anne Marie. No one’s policing you and you know that. I’m saying that *assuming* bad intent with someone who has demonstrated a track record of remarking on these issues (female beauty standards in this case) for more than a decade is not fair. That’s a reasonable thing to say.

    What you are calling a “mistake” is only a mistake if the premise being floated—-Ophelia never remarks on these things until a transwoman comes along— is true. But that premise isn’t true. Ophelia’s been writing on this topic for more than a decade. If she only remarked on feminine beauty standards when a transwoman was the subject, that absolutely would be suspect. But that isn’t the case.

    I think it’s fair to point that out and say, hey, wait a minute.

  22. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    1. I think it is great to be enthusiastic about better visibility of transwomen, and to signal boost what few instances we have.

    2. It is also harmful to promote the idea that a woman’s worth is determined by heir looks.

    I think Jezebel could have been doing both 1. and 2. here. The reality of our transphobic culture does add some context here.

    Ophelia is correct that we should still criticize 2., even if it was done in an attempt to do 1. (though I would have preferred a mention of point 1. in the OP itself).

  23. quixote says

    Anne Marie, also, I may be wrong but I don’t think Ophelia in this post is talking about *all* objectification, including the kind KimK makes money by. She’s talking about an ostensibly feminist publication celebrating objectification.

  24. Anne Marie says

    Yeah, this is the first thing I’ve seen about beauty standards in quite a while. I tried searching the site and found a post about how it was wrong to call Colleen McCullough “plain” (of course), partially because she’s a beauty and not plain.

  25. Anne Marie says

    1. They’re celebrating a trans woman getting to be who she wants to be.
    2. Given what is actually on the page of that post, it’s quite possible to read their comment about wanting to see more as being about the article itself, which they say will be a “must-read.”

  26. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yeah, you’re being dishonest and not even trying to engage, Anne Marie. You’re bullshitting at 60 words per minute.

    You get, right, that it’s not enough to just, “Yeah, no, I didn’t see anything whatever” and ignore any actual questions that would require you to respond?

  27. xyz says

    Well Josh, considering that our entire celebrity culture is extremely focused on looks, I do wonder why this criticism comes up in the case of a newly out trans woman. Really – why?

    Also, as much as feminists have worked to criticise restrictive beauty standards and point out that women have value beyond our looks, for some women claiming their beauty IS radical. Trans women have often been considered by cis society to automatically not ever be beautiful. So I’m not about to complain if trans women are visible and complimented in mainstream media, personally. It’s a partly different set of concerns at play here.

    You don’t have to like it, but pretending that the semantics of beauty are the same for all women? That’s lacking in nuance.

  28. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    Anne Marie, at #27,
    I have some issues with Ophelia’s OP here, well, an issue, which I explained in my #25. Namely that not mentioning the context of overwhelming transphobia in the US struck a weird tone with me.

    That being said, in my experience reading Butterflies over the years, you are just wrong when you say that Ophelia does not regularly and consistently address the sexism inherent in cultures focus on looks and the obscene beauty standards when it comes to women.

    Anne Marie, at #28,
    I agree with both your points.

    XYZ, at #31,

    Also, as much as feminists have worked to criticise restrictive beauty standards and point out that women have value beyond our looks, for some women claiming their beauty IS radical. Trans women have often been considered by cis society to automatically not ever be beautiful. So I’m not about to complain if trans women are visible and complimented in mainstream media, personally. It’s a partly different set of concerns at play here.

    Seconding this.

  29. oolon says

    Lena Dunham’s photoshoot in Vogue was breathlessly reported by lots of feminist outlets as her breaking norms and daring to be naked, sexy, etc while not fitting the patriarchal norm of women’s beauty. A white cis woman. But Caitlin does, a trans woman does fit this norm apparently, a 65 year old woman at that, wtf.

    The irony is that this is unwinnable for trans people, they can never be truly a woman or a man in most cis peoples eyes. The more they look like the stereotypical perfect man or woman the more cis people give them shit, unfortunately especially feminists in the case of trans women. (Long history here, look up Greers, Burchills, Jeffries comments on trans women’s appearance). While at the same time cis medical gatekeepers are forcing them to meet those ideals or get no medical treatment for a life saving transition. Not to mention the suicide inducing abuse they’ll also get day in day out if they don’t meet those standards 24/7.

    Frankly I’d imagine most trans women, who are apparently upholding the male gaze and patriarchy all on their own, will be delighted when the media and society at large get the message and just dehumanises them in that way. How many cis women who are objectified in the media have interviews like this one? We are a loooong way from trans women being able to be non-conforming to *cis* standards and be accepted by *cis* society as women (or men for that matter). For *cis* people to then turn around and criticise them for this…. I’m missing where that meets with the standards of intersectional feminism.

    … for some women claiming their beauty IS radical

    Thirded, Beyonce gets much the same treatment.

  30. says

    Woo Monster @25:

    Ophelia is correct that we should still criticize 2., even if it was done in an attempt to do 1. (though I would have preferred a mention of point 1. in the OP itself).

    I have absolutely no doubt that Ophelia agrees with your point (1.). But it’s somewhat beside the point of inquiry that serves as the focus of the post, which is your (2.) combined with the fact that Caitlyn is a high profile transwoman. There is just something… unusual about the combination and that cover and Jezebel’s response. In that sense, I get why Ophelia is asking, and I think that it is a fair question to ask. There’s no hint of any wrongdoing in the OP, but there is a definite sense of “this particular situation is unusual for Jezebel, somehow” and a curiosity about what that might be.

    I’ve been reading B&W for years now, long before FtB. If there is one thing that I feel with a certainty, it’s that there is not a shred of transphobia in Ophelia Benson.

  31. says

    Jezebel does like a bit of glamour, so that part’s not overly surprising from them.

    But Jezebel saying “can’t wait to see more” on a pic of a transwoman wearing essentially a bathing suit (NOT a dress!) gave me a squick moment. See more? Can’t you see enough? What, you want to check out her surgery? I do realise that’s probably not what they meant, but I did a double take.

  32. Emily Vicendese says

    “I don’t think being happy if Jenner is happy is good enough.”

    Yes. And therein lies the problem with identity politics.

    If you don’t think “oh but I identify as a Klansmen” is enough to justify the Ku Klux Klan than you shouldn’t accept “oh but I identify as x” as justification for anything. If we are going to criticise the construction of femininity for people born with vaginas, then we have to apply it equally to people born with penises, otherwise we’re being transphobic in that patronising backhanded kind of way.

  33. Barb B. says

    The “transphobia” witchhunt of women feminists continues. “Why are you talking sbout C.Jenner and not the Kardashians??” Because it is Jenner that is in the news right now, and who Jezebel wrote about. “Why did you call her Jenner and not “she”? Are you HIDING behind her proper name to AVOID using “she”???” (Paraphrased) Are you bloody serious? It’s the old “We can see you” silencing tactic meant to strike fear into the hearts of certain feminists. “When’s the last time you talked about this? It’s been a while! I looked!” Frickity frick frick.

    Feminists witchhunting other feminists they deem “suspect” or who ever dared question any part of a restrictive trans activist narrative, (one that has alienated some trans women) parsing through every utterance with a fine tooth comb and strawmanning them when they who have something to say about so-called feminist magazine/blog articles celebrating bodily and sexual objectification of a woman instead of recognizing it as harmful to women as a class of oppressed people, is truly awful, imo. Gawd!

  34. says


    If you don’t think “oh but I identify as a Klansmen” is enough to justify the Ku Klux Klan than you shouldn’t accept “oh but I identify as x” as justification for anything.

    This seems like a conflation of things that should not be conflated. Identifying as a member of the KKK obviously doesn’t justify the existence of the KKK in the sense of that group being good and right and okay, but that identification is not inherent—it comes about through learned behaviors and prejudices. Being trans* is not “learned.” Caitlyn Jenner did not simply decide that she was trans*, she said herself that she has felt herself to be a woman her entire life. So for her to identify as a transwoman is different from someone identifying as a Klansman. The trouble with “identity politics” seems to be people applying the term “identity politics” in an often derisive manner.

    I’m also not certain what to think about your conclusion. It seems like it misses some important nuance. Must we apply a blanket standard to all women, regardless of their birth status? I’m rather more inclined to accept whatever the women in question, themselves, choose for themselves.

    The more I think about this, the more that the objection seems to be with Jezebel’s response (“Can’t wait to see more!”) rather than the cover, or Caitlyn.

  35. says

    Seeing Jezebel’s follow up put that initial remark into context, which makes it look a lot better.

    Vanity Fair is one of so many magazines that trades on objectification, so it is entirely right to criticize them at every turn for it. And without Jezebel’s write-up of the article, Ophelia was, IMO, 100% correct to question Jezebel’s tweet.

    On a somewhat related note, I think it’s legitimate to point out the politics of objectification are a bit different for trans women (and trans men), since our culture is rather cis-centric and heteronormative (this also applies to women [and men] or color seeing as our culture is white-centric, as well). So in that context, I think not-white, not-cis, not-straight people need more visibility in our society and I think Caitlyn Jenner did contribute to that, in the same way that Laverne Cox has.

    On an even less-but-still-slightly-related note, my mom was watching TMZ today (don’t ask me why; I have no idea), and they really shocked me by talking about Caitlyn Jenner as Caitlyn Jenner. I mean, it was still sexist and transphobic (“she’s actually sexy! We’re all totally but pleasantly surprised that we’re attracted to her!” is the best way to summarize how they covered the Vanity Fair cover), but they managed to not be obviously and blatantly transphobic by denying her identity, which is not something I would have expected from the shit-hole that is TMZ… so… baby steps, I guess.

    Then again, since I don’t watch TMZ (because fuck that shit), I’ve no idea if Laverne Cox and/or other trans women and men are even on their radar, so it could be that they largely gender people as people expect to be gendered, and then box them into sexist stereotypes.

  36. Blanche Quizno says

    It’s a bit perplexing for the casual observer. A great many lesbians adopt a look that is not overtly feminine, sometimes referred to as “dyke” (although others adopt feminine norms of makeup, dresses, feminine hair styles, etc.). And the two trans women I have been acquainted with have likewise adopted such a look. I do not have enough information to speculate on their decision (and I never thought to ask) – was it that they felt themselves to be finally in a female body and that was enough in itself? Was it that, as women, they were making a statement about the way women are expected to present an image that is appealing to men – and rejecting that societal obligation-expectation? Was it that they *owned* their identity as women to the point that they rejected the implicit approval-seeking of a glam look like Jenner is sporting? If so, it presents an interesting hybrid of male individuality with female identity, I suppose. But regardless, it is each individual’s choice as to how to present. And Jenner has dainty, delicate bone structure – let her be as lovely as she wishes. She’s waited long enough for it.

  37. Lady Mondegreen says

    Trans women express themselves in all the same ways cis women do. There are butch-looking trans women (queer and straight,) ultra femme trans women, and everything kind of presentation in between.

    It used to be that you had to conform to strict gender norms to get past the gatekeepers who oversaw medical and cosmetic transition. That’s changing.

    I have a huge problem with women’s human value being reduced to our looks, and with us being required to be attractive objects.

    But I don’t have a problem with women choosing to adopt femininity and glamour, as long as it really is a choice. I realize that’s problematic because the expectations are still there for most of us and failure to conform can come at a high price. “Choosing” conventional femininity and trying to conform to beauty standards confers privilege.

    But I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with playing with make up and pretty dresses (or bathing suits,) or with dressing glam. It can be playful and fun. It can even be done in a subversive way–and what Jenner’s doing, coming out as Caitlyn to the world–is still subversive.

    If only we could all slip in and out of styles at will–including gender presentation–if we wanted to–and play with them. Or not, as we pleased.

    Not expressing myself very well, but then I’m still sorting out my thoughts. Also: phone. Plus late.

  38. says

    Josh @#15
    Just because this type of glamour photo is common in such magazines does not mean that Ophelia is being weird when objecting to it/asking about it. Your questions imply —-clearly—that you are surprised to read what she says because, “Don’t you understand all magazines do this?”

    I think you’re misreading. I wasn’t surprised and I interpreted Ophelia’s comment as complaining that glamour magazines are glamour magazines and have glamour photos on their glamorous covers. I’m not going to act surprised at that, because I’m not and nor should anyone be.

    What would be surprising would be if Vanity Fair had someone on the cover that wasn’t rich or famous or both.

    Where things go off the rails for me is Ophelia’s question “What is Jenner saying to other trans women?” Well, I don’t know. “Get rich and famous and you’ll be treated well?” Jenner’s not saying “I still identify as a republican in spite of that political party’s being anti-GLBT in general” because that can’t come through the picture. I don’t know. I’ve spent too long in the glamour photography trenches and wars to think a photo conveys much; the viewer does most of the work. And with a glamour photo “oooo pretty” is about it unless you want to infer your own subtext; be my guest. If I were trying to infer a subtext it would be something to do with wealth and fame more than gender but that’s doubtless my privileged perspective.

  39. xyz says

    Thank you Oolon. Exactly. The policing of Black women’s beauty is a similar phenomenon in my eyes. In any case I think it’s key to notice that feminism (or feminisms is maybe more apropos) doesn’t have a monolithic attitude toward beauty, so that the question “Since when has feminism meant…” is a bit off.

    Here’s an article that brings up the issue of claiming one’s beauty in various contexts and social locations. The example of Laverne Cox is particularly clear. Not everyone has to agree with this, and in part I don’t. But these opinions are out there, and imo they are worth engaging with.

    And for the “how dare you accuse transphobia!” scolds… I didn’t. I pointed out that in this specific case, bringing out the basic feminist media critique is kinda troubling. I’m sure Ophelia is a lovely person or whatever. I’m not here looking to catch anyone out or make wild accusations. It’s just that not all feminists are in lockstep on these issues. Ophelia literally asked “What am I missing here?” Trying to answer her is not poisoning the well or engaging in a witch hunt.

  40. xyz says

    Also, Jezebel? Not an explicitly feminist publication afaik. They bill themselves as “for women” and are perfectly willing to use that lack of specificity as a shield when they really fuck up… which they do regularly.

    I find that site is best enjoyed in small doses, just like most “women’s magazines”. For makeup tips or seeing the Oscar red carpet dresses, it’s a perfectly fine website.

  41. oolon says

    Given everyone seems to be wasting their time analysing if Ophelia is transphobic, can I add I don’t think she is in the slightest anti-trans (Disclaimer: I’m not trans, so I have no authority there). IMO If all cis feminists were like her then we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation. However it is facile to deny we all have transphobic bias and are often transphobic unintentionally. Of course we are, anti-trans bias is *everywhere*, on this thread there are transphobic dog whistles. People using “transwoman” which implies transwoman =/= woman. A tiny little nitpick, a style thing, but something I’d expect commenters at FTB to know better. It’s alienating to trans women. We avoid gendered slurs and sexist language / tropes, so why can’t we do the minimum for trans people. Why is it a “witch hunt” when people criticise minor slips of language that reinforce oppression *cough*it’s a guy thing*cough*, whether intentional or not… I thought we were better than that?

  42. says

    Holy crap, Barb @37, give me a break. Fine toothed comb? The lack of pronouns jumped out at me because the whole thing read very strange without them. Marcus has explained the choice.

  43. says

    John Morales (#46) –

    Here’s an OP in Australia’s ABC:
    Don’t look away – the Caitlyn Jenner story is a million stories untold

    I read that story independently of you posting the link. It’s the one that struck with me the most, and the first one to make me weigh in on this discussion. I’ve been reading the comments above but didn’t want to take either side, mainly because I agree and disagree with parts of both sides.

    Her story could become (or could have been) the Live Aid moment, the Freddie Mercury moment for people who are transitioning, a high-profile celebrity or individual who changes the discussion or makes it mainstream. For those who are transitioning (including me), it’s a big story and will start the general population thinking. But I’m hesitant to talk about her because of the media circus in all the other parts of her life – the tabloids, the Kardashians, the reality TV show, the fatal car crash, etc. If the media coverage were more like when Ellen Degeneres came out, I’d feel differently.

  44. Blanche Quizno says

    @46 John: “you’d be a fool to deny the transformative power of this moment”

    I’m breathless. I truly am. When I first heard the tabloid rumors about Bruce Jenner’s “transitioning”, I thought it was just more tabloid whoring. But it’s TRUE!! It’s really TRUE!! What a moment for the trans community. Sure, it’s likely to be fraught with angst and controversy, but Caitlyn Jenner coming out for the trans community is just as game-changing as Rock Hudson or Elton John coming out for the gay community. It’s huge! While some might scoff that these figureheads are simply seizing a “Look at MEEE!” spotlight – and that’s low-hanging fruit for anyone connected with the spotlight-hogging Kardashians – any time a famous person comes out as part of a hated, feared, beleaguered, and otherwise invisible minority, it’s a huge step forward toward mainstream acceptance for that community. I have nothing but admiration for Caitlyn Jenner. It would have been so easy for her to remain in hiding…

  45. Blanche Quizno says

    @49 left0ver1under: You mentioned Ellen Degeneres’ coming out. Well, back in the late 1980s, maybe ca. the very early 1990s, I was watching Whoopi Goldberg on a late-night standup comedy special, where she stated plainly that she was a lesbian. Apparently the Hollywood backlash was so intense that she leaped right back into the closet, in the form of dating Real Straight Man From Cheers Ted Danson. What a disaster…

  46. says

    Blanche Quizno (#51) –

    Tentative steps are the norm when first sticking toes in the water. Fear can make it easier to stick with the safety of what you know rather than facing the unknown that will come (both the bad and the good) even if it means giving up or not getting what you want.

    Degeneres did retreat at first, but later regained her confidence. David Bowie has been living in denial for forty years (more than twice as long as George Michael did) and Elton John almost as long before coming out fully. Not everyone will be fully confident the first time out, even if they have the resources and the support.


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