Since Caitlyn Jenner popped up on the cover of Vanity Fair yesterday, I’ve witnessed some of the most intense, ridiculous arguing across social media. I realize that yes, that’s pretty much par for the course, but it’s a bit exhausting, isn’t it?
There have been people like Ronnie Floyd, the Duggar family’s pastor, who have compared being transgender with abusing children. Let’s ignore the fact that this is the same guy who just said it was alright for Josh Duggar to sexually assault his kid sisters for a second, and just look at the absurdity here.
— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 2, 2015
“You are formed by God specifically and intentionally. There are two different sexes, male and female. And the whole scheme of the world today is to try to get us to see those are very, very unclear lines. They’re not unclear lines. They are clear lines. If you are created a man, you are specifically and intentionally created a man. So, don’t try to be something else. … Anytime we demean the value of human beings, we violate what God intends for that human being. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. A child, a spouse, a family member. Doesn’t matter what it is. Doesn’t matter whether it’s ISIS, Boko Haram or any other group that’s coming against Christianity today. It doesn’t matter. God can save them all.”
Now, that might come as kind of a bummer, given that Jenner has said that she considers herself pretty religious. After all, it’s not just this one pastor who believes these types of things. These views are pretty widespread in Christian faiths. Hell, even “Cool Pope™” isn’t too keen on trans people.
(He later went on to compare trans people to Nazis because that’s totally reasonable, right?)
Anyway, the point is, that sort of stuff was 100% expected. If it’s a day ending in “y,” you know that there’s someone somewhere saying something utterly ridiculous about trans people.
But then there was something else: A massive obsession over her name.
Drake Bell, who was apparently some sort of child actor/star on the Disney Channel, made the “brave” move of calling Caitlyn Jenner “Bruce.” Why? Because that was the name she was given at birth.
This would almost be funny if not for the hypocrisy. You see, Bell’s first name is Jared, but he’s gone by Drake for years. By his own admission, he is not himself. He’s actually “Jared Bell” (ridiculous, right?).
— ELIEL CRUZ (@elielcruz) June 1, 2015
Then there’s the producer Timbaland, who posted to his Facebook: “Imma call him Bruce.” Why? Yet again, because that’s the name his mom gave him. Okay, then. *Takes a second to look up Timbaland’s birth name* Okay, then, Timothy Zachary Moseley.
But really. What is it about trans people that makes others so uncomfortable? What is it about trans people that brings out this sort of hypocrisy, double-standards, and non-sense like that?
Because that’s the thing. It *IS* hypocrisy. Trans people are held to ridiculous standards that cis people aren’t. Here. I wrote a Facebook post about it (you should follow me on there if you’re not already. Do it).
About referring to trans people by their former name because it’s their “real” name: pic.twitter.com/BOsgG2cwuw
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) June 2, 2015
But really, why does anyone care? “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” right?
Really, Romeo and Juliet, Act II. Scene II, sums this up really well.
Jul. ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O! Be some other name:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.
Rom. I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
Whether you’re Romeo, Juliet, Caitlyn, Bruce, Kim, or Kanye, who you are is your own business. Let’s at least try to treat one another as human beings. Can we all manage that?
Image via Vanity Fair.