You Don’t Have to Understand

The media firestorm that’s surrounding Bruce Jenner’s gender identification is predictable. People love to scrutinize things that they don’t understand. Based on a lot of public commentary, many feel as though he’s a freak. For those people, focusing on him is the news equivalent of slowing down to check out a traffic accident. People want to know how unusual things happen, especially to public figures. They want to try to comprehend the situation, but they also secretly delight in the fact that they never will.

Here’s the thing, though. (Yes, there’s always a thing.) No one was put on this earth so that the rest of us can give him or her our seal of approval. How Bruce Jenner chooses to live life is entirely up to Bruce Jenner. (A friend of mine just pointed out that it sounds as if I believe Bruce is making a choice about being transgender. I do not mean that at all. I believe he was born the way he was born. But whether he chooses to go public or not is a choice, and, indeed, a right. ) No crimes are being committed. No one is being placed in any sort of physical danger. The pursuit of happiness is a basic human right. You don’t have to like it or approve of it or understand it.

If you find yourself obsessing over this situation, a good question to ask would be, “How is this any of my business?” If you can’t come up with an adequate response, perhaps it’s time to move on to the next news cycle. There are so many other things that need to be focused on in this world. Global warming, for example. Bruce Jenner in a dress sure isn’t going to melt the polar ice caps.



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