Dear Bruce Jenner,
Your interview with the dame, Diana Sawyer, a few evenings ago has social media all a buzz. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to watch the entire interview because my time zone just isn’t set up like that. However, the biggest take aways from the interview were “being yourself” and “bravery“.
As a former classroom teacher, I shared those sentiments with my students quite often. As you’ve mentioned, “being yourself” is freeing. I am in agreement that; it is indeed freeing, peaceful, and gives you a stride like no other. These sentiments Mr. Jenner, because you are my elder, are absolutely, 100% true.
Now Mr. Jenner, he’s where we need to have a conversation or perhaps we should have a few conversations with the American public. You see, there’s a bit of confusion here about the second term “bravery”. Our friend, Marriam-Webster, defines bravery as the quality of being brave. As they say on entertainment blogs, “no tea, no shade” but there’s nothing brave about giving a paid, 7-figure interview to a major network about your sexuality. As a liberal conservative, I’m pretty open to just about everything; as long as it doesn’t harm other people. So, when I say I don’t see your interview as brave, it’s not. It was more self-centered actually, not much brave.
To me, and a few others, bravery is standing tall and firm in the midst of adversity, bravery is going against the grain with your shoulders back and spirit unweary. Help me to understand how sitting down, discussing your intimate woes with family support is a variable of bravery. The way that the 1% is set up Mr. Jenner, and you are indeed a part of the 1%, bravery doesn’t really align with this category. In the realm of the 1%, you’re offered all the understanding, protection from backlash, and numerous vessels of support at your fingertips.
After your “brave” announcement, Mr. Jenner, there’s no backlash for you. There’s no job for you to report to where you’d hear the whispers from your team mates or face a possible firing because you’ve shamed the company. There’s no threat to your safety or security, there’s no scrutiny from your peers, you are not facing pulled endorsements, possible disownment from your family, jail time, or death. You did not “announce” this without the knowledge and support of your family, so no uncertainty there.
I shoveled and shoveled but I’m coming up short on bravery because frankly, Mr. Jenner, it’s not there.
No announcement was needed to know that you were transitioning to a more comfortable state. Those who follow your family and gazed a snapshots of you in your darling H &M Maxi dress confirmed that “something” was indeed going on. We noticed the changes in your appearance, but as an icon and father to social media favorites, we’d noticed if you only wore blue shirts on Mondays. So, yeah You know and I know the true kicker, society is very accepting of LGBT, especially in the town in which you live. You have a very liberal family and support circle. Americans will go to bat for LGBT on any issues and if one speaks against it, they will need to stand firm in their brave assertions. Americans will justify the killing of unarmed children and black males but stand tall with LGBT.
So, announcing this transition just isn’t bravery.
If you need examples of bravery, bravery would have been to
- embrace who you were years ago, before the wives and kids
- bravery is using your voice and celebrity to help those who are not afforded the 1% protection and offer support to them
Outside of that, bravery is putting your own agenda aside and ‘tending to your 17 year old daughter who has dropped out of high-school, poses provocatively on the internet, and keeps intimate company with an adult male. Bravery would be to stand up to the predator who trails your minor daughter around and telling him to back the entire fuck up; see that’s bravery.
Bravery is also using your celebrity to create awareness about police brutality, racism, discrimination, and child exploitation.
Bravery is a lot of things, but what it isn’t is a paid, 7-figure interview about a topic that was already known.
Best wishes to you.
Oh and I’m sure the million dollar question for me is, “Who are you to define bravery?”
I’m a former educator, school administrator, survivor of nonsense, and international blogger who stands firm in the face of adversity when it’s not the popular thing to do.
Best & well,