Thursday, May 21, 2015

Some thoughts on "About Bruce"

  • Plenty has already been said about Keeping Up With The Kardashian's "About Bruce" two-part special, so I'll keep this mercifully short, but I thought it was quite sensitively done, given the media attention -- good and bad -- surrounding Bruce Jenner's transition. I haven't sought out any activist take on it, and frankly I don't want to because it wasn't perfect, and I liked that it wasn't perfect. You can say what you want about the Kardashian empire and their crafted image, but it's clear Jenner's family loves and supports her, even if they're angry or feel betrayed or confused. It was very honest and not perfectly PC, which was nice to see. There's a lot of pressure to be unquestioningly understanding from the start, which given the sheer amount of discrimination trans people, often legally, face, it's understandable, but it doesn't work out that way. 
  • I liked that Jenner likened trans acceptance to where the gay rights movement was twenty or thirty years ago. It's pretty accurate, imo as someone who knew people who were coming out right between Stonewall and the advent of AIDS panic.
  • Whether she's a good role model should be immaterial. I know that's a big question, and there was a collective groan when Jenner came out... as a Republican! during the Diane Sawyer interview a few weeks ago. I do think it's more than a little naive to think that conservatives would be open to talking about trans rights issues.