Bruce Jenner, Transitioning or Not: You're Reporting It Wrong

Illustration for article titled Bruce Jenner, Transitioning or Not: You're Reporting It Wrong

Guys… Guys… GUYS! Let's talk about Bruce Jenner! There is nothing more I'd love right now than to talk about Bruce Jenner! I am just totally beside myself ready to talk about Bruce Jenner! Actually, no. I'm not. There are soooooo many stories out there I would rather write about, but it looks like the media is set on talking about Bruce Jenner. So, you know what we are going to do? Talk about Bruce Jenner.


And folks, this is some bullshit.

In case y'all have been living under a rock, or hiking in Antarctica, or swimming the oceans of Europa for the last few weeks, you probably know that every entertainment publication under the sun is convinced that Jenner is transitioning from male to female. They point to his eyebrows, his finger nails, and his recent trachea shave as clear cut evidence that this is happening.

So what's everyone saying?

Well, celebrity magazine Star is insisting that Jenner and Kim Kardashian had an epic argument:

"She feels that he's racing forward with his plans without any concern for her."

TMZ reports:

Multiple medical sources have told TMZ ... getting a Laryngeal Shave is almost always the first step in gender reassignment.

National Enquirer/New Idea (AUS) reports:

Before Bruce had his Adam's apple shaved down, he talked to the doctor at length about having his penis removed next.


Wait, what? Are you serious? What does that even mean?

I'm a trans woman, and I'm pretty certain my own gender reassignment didn't start with any kind of trachea shave. In fact, I'm not planning to alter my neck at all. And "remove" "his penis"? You're just making shit up at this point, right? That's not how vaginoplasty works!


These news publications (and I use that word loosely) betray their total ignorance of trans experiences with this kind of phrasing. Have they even spoken to a trans woman? Do they have a trans woman on retainer they can call up so they don't totally screw the pooch? Apparently not.

Let's take a moment away from these antics, sit down and have a serious heart to heart about the true nature of transition. The truth about transition is that it varies for everyone. There is no universal roadmap. There is no first step for everyone (beyond maybe the recognition that one is trans). These journeys are so unique, they don't even go in a straight line! Many of us, myself included, have zig zagging routes. If you drew them in illustrated form they would stretch all over the page! It's absolutely ridiculous that any of these "sources" (or the writers of such pieces) could ever pretend to plot Jenner's transition (if such a thing even existed, and it probably doesn't) so easily by looking at these supposed road signs. Transition doesn't come with a fucking GPS.


And if we're going to talk about this, do we really have to put transition on the same sleazy tabloid level as cheating celebrity spouses and who has developed a drug habit? The whole exposé style is pretty insulting to trans folks. It's pretty insulting to me. It's insulting to Jenner even if it's all inaccurate speculation. If he is transitioning, then it's even worse.

It's really quite appalling to have it framed as some horrible secret to be revealed, as if transition was an indiscretion, a bad habit, or a destructive decision. That's not what transitioning is; transitioning is about healthy decision-making. It's about following whatever steps one needs in order to be happier and well-adjusted. And it's hard as fuck. It's emotionally and physically draining, but it leads to a better, truer life. Don't you dare act like it is something of which to be ashamed, because you'd be wrong.


Jenner's estranged wife, Kris Jenner, took to the airwaves to dispel the rumors, revealing they've been circling for nearly forty years — and are totally bunk. And, according to another celebrity disher, Perez Hilton, Jenner's soon-to-be son-in-law Kanye West agrees.

And, I mean, Kanye sure knows a thing or two about bullshit media speculation, right?


Image via Getty.


Violet Baudelaire

Dear Powers that Be at Jezebel:

Thank you very much for deciding and realizing this was an important topic to write about, and thank you very much for reaching out and choosing a experienced and wonderful writer to cover it. This is one of the best ways I've ever seen you tackle an issue.