Bruce Jenner: Spokesperson for the Transgender Community?

Bruce Jenner: Spokesperson for the Transgender Community?

The much-anticipated Diane Sawyer interview with Bruce Jenner to be aired on ABC tonight is the supposed reveal of Bruce Jenner’s journey into becoming a transgender woman. We have seen Bruce in photos looking more feminine in recent months, with rumors of breast enhancement and Adams apple surgery, and the use of hormones. Some have said that she has already had the reassignment surgery. Until now, Bruce has been mum about his journey into becoming a transgender woman, except for filming for the E! network for her new show.

Do any of the the Karadashian's do anything not in front of the camera? Bruce is no exception having been monopolizing on his fame since he won the 1976 Summer Olympic Gold medal in the decathlon. Jenner became an American hero and in 1976 was the recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur in the United States and was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986.

After being a spokesperson and the Wheaties cereal box, Jenner needed to make some money and sold insurance for awhile. Monopolizing on his name recognition, he went on to star in various movies, none of them a success, including Can’t Stop the Music (1980) which was nominated for the 1980 Golden Raspberry Award for the worst actor for his performance in the film.

Jenner also had reasonable success in his television career where he starred in made-for-TV movies, The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) and Grambling’s White Tiger (1981). He became a semi-regular on the popular show CHIPS. He also appeared on the Silver Spoons sitcom in an episode where he revealed he had dyslexia. Jenner has a history of revealing himself on TV, this is not new.

Jenner appeared as himself on a number of game shows, infomercials and reality TV programs. He was part of the cast in shows like, I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, The Apprentice, Celebrity Family Feud and Skating with Celebrities.

Since 2007, Jenner has stared in the E! series, Keeping Up with the Kadashians with his soon to be ex-wife, Kris Jenner, stepdaughters, Kourtney, Kim, Khole and Rob and daughters Kylie and Kendall. In the second season, the show had an average of 1.6 million viewers which is a success in TV land.

So as Bruce Jenner enraptures us with her journey as a transgender woman, should we care? Jenner’s life has been spent looking to stardom wherever he could find it. He has had three marriages; one to Christie Crownover, his second was with Linda Thompson and his current wife Kris Kardasian. Jenner has six children and four step-children. At 65 years old, she is coming out much later as a transgender person than most who average between 18-44 years old. So why now? Some say that Bruce Jenner is an “attention whore.”

I am not questioning or judging Jenner on her decision to come out later in life. She certainly deserves to become her authentic self. And, I am in favor of anything to raise awareness for the transgender community. Our society needs role models to help those who need support in their own journey. But, is Bruce Jenner the one who should be the spokesperson for the transgender community?

According to the Williams Institute, a group that studies the LGBT community, many of the transgender people can not afford the reassignment surgery. Bruce Jenner has made money on his brand and success in promoting himself. She will make more money by coming out as a transgender woman. Perhaps, Jenner should share some of his wealth and help other transgender people with their own transition, rather than monopolizing on this fame.

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