I think I put this on Facebook, but I thought long and hard about writing something about Bruce Jenner. Sometimes, I feel like everyone is keen to hop onto a cultural phenomenon, but his interview touched me so deeply that I felt like I had to say something. I wanted to DO something, for I have known so many people who have struggled so greatly with the secret Bruce has fought his entire life to hide. I thought it was time for me to…do something.
I am fortunate to have called a beautiful number of transgender people among my friends over the years. I’ve watched a few of them try their wings before they inevitably flew and embraced their identities, and I’ve cried with horror as some were crushed against the force of societal fear. For every beautiful butterfly who goes into the cocoon in order to re-emerge as the person they know inside, so many more may be lost, tortured, beaten, and ultimately murdered for attempting to blossom. For every colorful soul that takes flight, so many others are swatted down by societal misunderstanding.
Here in New York, we have a lot of youth from all over the world who come seeking a place where they can finally be themselves. The LGBTQ community here is strong, but some wind up homeless and living lives of terror, doing things they never thought they would do in order to merely survive. For every surgery there is a backstreet doctor taking advantage of suffering. This happens in cities across the country and the world. What it does to your spirit when you feel the world is against you is a bad, bad thing. Everyone who can wake up and express themselves freely every day should bless the bones in their body, for there are others who aren’t so lucky.
In my mind, I hope this interview was on in televisions across the world this past Friday night, perhaps on screens in the streets where our lost children roam, in the warm beds they’ve found. I hope the people who misunderstand them watched and were educated. I hope the violent outbursts will cease, I hope that we will soon live in a day where we understand that sexuality lives in the mind, that if we believe in a divine power that created a giant world in which we must all find our way, that how we do it is a private matter.
I would first like to state for the record that this site has always been LGBTQ friendly, and it always will be. I would also love to suggest that a great way to DO something if this doesn’t directly affect you would be to extend a hand to those lost and still struggling to find their way. The Ali Forney Center here in New York is a great place that helps youth from the community that need a safe place when they have nowhere else to go. It’s like a coccoon for those who need to emerge as strong, beautiful individuals. There are places like this across the world. Help them.
This mix is for everyone struggling to be free from whatever forces oppose. F is for “Freedom,” and someday I hope it will come to all of us. For Bruce Jenner and everyone who seeks to express themselves freely, this one is for you.