First and foremost, let me start off by expressing my appreciation of you being at the head of such a beautiful moment in time. If you were to tell me as a child that I would be celebrating the introduction of a transgender woman to the world, I’d probably ask, “what does that mean?”
I suppose that makes sense to a degree. As a kid, I hardly knew what it what “gay” meant; much less “transgender” — but now, because of people like you, there aren’t many children who will be able to be as confused as I was. What you’ve done on this day goes much further than just revealing your name and your body in a truly fierce photo spread with Vanity Fair (seriously, girl; Annie Leibowitz hooked you up!). In fact, what you have done is fully opened a door that has been only slightly ajar for far too long: the door to acceptance.
As I glanced through my social media feed following the reveal of your name, I noticed the mention of a name that you might be familiar with: Leelah Alcorn. In case your memory is a bit foggy, Leelah was, like yourself, a woman who found herself stuck in a body that didn’t equate to what she felt in her heart and soul. Unfortunately, her life got a bit too much to handle and tragically, she chose to no longer be with us.
One of Leelah’s final wishes was for people to be more accepting of others, which in turn, would allow those “others” to be more accepting and loving of themselves. Although we still have a long way to go before we actually reach that final point, there has been a bit of change, and thanks to you, those who are in need of validation have been able to see it as well.
For all of those who have called your journey “selfish” and “stunt-like”, there are people who have staunchly defended it by relating to it as “monumental” and “important” (which it truly is). There is still a lot of hate in this world for things that we do not understand, but for the first time in a long while, many of us have seen love rise around it and proclaim, “No. We’re not going to allow you to hurt this extremely brave woman. She matters to us. She is a human being.”
Sadly, there will still be times where the naysayers and cretins of the world will manage to find a soapbox that’s just a bit taller, and a megaphone that’s just a bit louder than that of your supporters and admirers, but know this — for all of the negative out there, you have just become a major positive to so many people. You have pushed through so much in your personal world just to be able to do something that everyone else gets to do every single day without a single boundary or obstacle: confirm their existence — and we see that. And it is beautiful, just as you are.
It’s funny how the news of your name was released on a day like today, which just so happens to be the start of LGBT Pride Month (which I’m sure was planned, but I can’t fault you for doing it this way). The next 30 days are going to bring forth so much joy, excitement and yes, pride, for yourself and for so many others, and I hope you can find ways to celebrate each and every moment throughout the next four weeks — and well beyond that point — to your heart’s content and then some.
We see you, Ms. Caitlyn Jenner, and you are loved. Happy Pride!
With warmest regards,