Why Bruce Jenner is Humanity’s Remarkable Hero
Last Friday, millions of people worldwide watched Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner announce that he is transgender. Before being Kendall and Kylie‘s dad, and well before the Kardashian days, Jenner was seen as a hero, having earned the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic games. He embodied the characteristics of masculinity and athleticism, qualities Americans revere. But on Friday night, and forever more, Jenner will be known as a hero for an entirely different reason: his willingness to unveil to the world his true gender.
True American Hero
On April 24, Jenner exceeded his role as an American hero — he stood up for the tenets of equality and social justice, choosing to defend not only himself, but all of humanity. For years Jenner was mocked for what appeared to be a superficial dependency on surgical/cosmetic alterations. But the rest of the world was left in the dark from Jenner’s private life, his personal identity struggle, and constant battle with the paparazzi — the result of being in an image oriented, ‘exclusive’ family. Behind closed doors, and beyond the shallow realm of the so-called ‘glitz and glam’ of the E! News reality show, Jenner was living a life untrue to himself. ‘It is never too late’ rings true for Jenner, who at the age of 65, was finally ready to eliminate the “walls closing in” on him. “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” Jenner told ABC News Diane Sawyer. “My heart and my soul and everything that I do in life, it’s part of me. That female side of me, it’s part of me.”
Inspiration For Others
His choice of words could be an anthem, an anthem that may save someone’s life — 41% of self-identified transgender people have attempted suicide, a statistic that should shake us all, especially those who spew intolerant language. In the twenty-first century, members of our society continue to commit hate crimes against beliefs and ways of life they don’t understand. Jenner’s bravery will work to oppose discrimination, and shed light on the principles of justice, compassion, and equality for vulnerable groups. “I just want to have a free soul and have a lot of friends. I just want to enjoy life. As who I am. It’s that simple.”