The big news from last Friday, in case you have been living under a rock, was the Bruce Jenner interview on ABC. I'm sure everyone that reads this blog is already up to speed on it's content, so I won't delve into it.
For months the internet and tabloids have been speculating and producing articles about Bruce Jenner. I had a nice conversation yesterday with my sidekick during our weekly coffee. She thought it could be a bad thing, that there were so many negative opinions being written about in magazines, tweets, blogs etc. that it would set us back. She said this was not necessarily what would happen, just that it was one possibility.
I think that a point here is being missed by most. There has been plenty of transgender exposure lately, and it's certainly the media darling of the moment. The difference is that this was on broadcast, over-the-air television. It was on ABC, not lifetime, AMC, FX or some obscure channel. This was a major network, on Friday night prime time.
This is where heartland America lives, this is what and when, the majority of the US watches TV. Millions of people just got exposure for the first time in their lives to the reality of transgenderism. From a knowledgable source, not from the uninformed.
Bruce gave an excellent, calm and concise explanation of the subject. He stayed consistant with multiple attempts to relate gender orientation with sexual orientation. And he did so in a professional manor, in good spirits and portrayed a position of authority. This is exactly the representation that we needed and have been lacking.
I have a friend, a non-trans woman my age, who has known and experienced my feminine persona several times. While she has always been pleasant and accommodating, she has never understood my motivation. After watching the interview, she 'gets it', and is excited about it. Prior to this, I was just a strange exception to the reality of gender in her perspective, I was an Island. She knew that there were other islands, but counted us as an anomaly. Now it's been on ABC, Diane Sawyer talked about it to an Olympic Gold medalist and there is a Kardashian connection. Now it's real. Suddenly we are part of society proper and this opinion is being reflected across the United States.
So the world shifted it's perspective this week.....a little, but it's the biggest shift we have ever seen. Let's try to make the best of it.