Caitlyn Jenner: Mutual Respect

Faceless Caitlyn Jenner

Previously I mentioned my Facebook post on the newly-Caitlyn Caitlyn Jenner did indeed take a different direction. We didn’t wind up talking much about the definition(s) of bravery, because the entire chain was hijacked by a Christian troll. We’ll refer to him here as “Sparky.”

After some good comments from decent folks, both military and civilian, out of left field Sparky joined in with the following:

MHO & I know most people feel the same way, but will not speak up, because of the intolerance of the Homosexual community (which I have never seen bullied, but does a lot of bullying of their own). No animosity toward him, but I think Bruce (not Caitlyn) Jenner is a sick man, and needs help, and I pray he gets it. He does not need publicity for this, as he’s just very confused. IF he’s not sick, he’s very selfish seeking attention, and his poor children are suffering. He won in the Olympics & competed and did things physically that only a man can do. He has male body parts. He is not a woman.

We were naturally caught off guard, since there’s so much wrong with this one paragraph one doesn’t even know where to begin.

But I thought if I ignored it, it would go away.

But someone else replied, and it opened up the can of worms I was hoping would stay closed for this particular discussion.

One friend posted a video that clarified the issue in seemingly inarguable terms, containing an intro that this video was intended to clear up some confusion, because with more understanding comes less hate (and less self-hate). Sparky called the video “Gobbleygook & made up spin.”

Another friend offered up that her former husband is transgender. Sparky literally said: “…your ex-husband is still a man…he just had surgery. No different than Bruce Jenner is still a man…he just CHOOSES to dress up like a woman.”

He threw insults and derision, and when called out on it, acted all hurt and victimized.

He led everything with the phrase, “With respect,” and then said something completely disrespectful.

I asked him to respect that there are many different religions in the world, and he basically told me no.

Instead of apologizing, he shrugged and said, “Agree to disagree.”

He acted like a bully and then blamed his bad behavior on God.

The best part was when he said, “Sometimes the Truth hurts,” which is so ironic it would be hilarious, except it wasn’t.

And I know this is not indicative of most good religious people…but it is indicative of the loudest religious people, the ones who cast judgments and scorn while never truly looking in the mirror.

I actually feel kind of bad for Sparky. I suspect he’s a recovering alcoholic or even junkie, and maybe religion is the only thing that keeps him from destroying his body.

But he’s so stuck in his own mindset that he can’t understand anyone with a different point of view. He’s like a wounded animal who can’t function properly without help, and can’t show gratitude for the help.

Sparky’s inability to show respect was upsetting, but my confidence that he is totally wrong never once wavered.

I’m just not sure how to get through with logic. His is a closed mind.

So, how do we get through to closed minds?

Answer: we don’t. We maintain our composure. We carry on. We keep improving. We keep talking about transgender transformation as though it’s not some circus act.

And we don’t shut them out. We invite them into the conversation.

And we keep the conversation moving forward.

They’ll catch up eventually. People like Sparky will have to change their own minds. No outside force is going to do it, certainly not on Facebook. It’ll have to come from within.

And when those minds do change, we need to welcome them into the community of modern thinkers. Don’t throw it in their faces that they thought backwardly for so long. Forgiveness will be necessary.

Without mutual respect, we cannot move forward as a nation. We may disagree with people, but we still have to treat them as valid human beings. And we must absolutely insist that they treat us the same.

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