Thursday, June 4, 2015

Being Who You Are

This week the interwebs are buzzing with news of Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover. I think it's hard to argue anything other than she looks amazing. I won't pretend to understand the emotional complexity of being transgender. I can't imagine spending 65 years as one gender while secretly identifying as another. It's got to be agonizing. While I'm sure there are a lot of people don't understand what Caitlyn has and is going through, I don't understand why we can't just all be who we are without people being jerks about it.

I have a large number of Facebook friends who are pretty religious. They post Bible verses, talk a lot about going to church and openly preach. It's not my thing, but I'm fine with them doing it because it's important to them. I'm sure I get eye rolls with my latest post about running or cities. We don't all have the same interests or focuses, and that's what makes people interesting.

What I REALLY don't understand, however, is that these are the same people vilifying Caitlyn Jenner on Facebook. This same population defended Josh Duggar who a police report now reveals was 15 when he molested some girls including his sister. If we can digress for a minute - come on. I actually saw posts on social media defending him because he apologized. He prayed about it and said he's sorry guys! If he had murdered someone at 15 he would have been tried as an adult. You don't get to just apologize and pray your way out of murder. If he molests someone at 15 (INCLUDING HIS SISTER) and just says a few prayers and he's sorry, it's all better. I'm pretty sure being a child molester isn't something that just goes away during your teenage years like acne. 

So when defenders of Josh Duggar post blogs saying that Catilyn Duggar is "disgusting" I guess I'm really confused by this. I grew up in a pretty religious household, but we were taught to love our neighbors are ourselves. I wasn't taught to love my neighbor if they believe the same things I do and have the same life experiences. Even if you don't morally agree with someone, you're supposed to be tolerant and let them be who they are. I would love for the Caitlyn Jenner haters to show me that passage of the Bible where it says God will only love us if we all think/feel/believe the same way. I can't seem to find it. 

If I take a giant leap for a minute and assume Josh Duggar has reformed, I think there are a lot of people don't understand the Duggar family's choices. But it's their choice to have tons of kids, home school, and not kiss until they are married. I think it's unusual, but hey it's their thing. Until this molestation thing I'd never really thought much of them one way or the other. I certainly wasn't judging them for making choices that I would not make. They are being true to who they are and what they believe.

Similarly Caitlyn Jenner is being who she is. There are people who can not like it, and that's totally their prerogative. But if you're one of my Bible thumping Facebook friends, can you please not defend Josh Duggar in one breath and denigrate Caitlyn Jenner in the next? One of these two has committed a crime. One of these two is being herself, and those two things are very different. Comparing the Duggars and Caitlyn Jenner isn't really a fair comparison, but given that these two huge stories are taking over social media, I find the hypocrisy of supporting Josh Duggar and denouncing Caitlyn Jenner too much to bear.

I have friends and family members who make decisions and I might think 'huh...not the choice I would've made'. But it's their life and their choice to be who they are. There are a lot of people struggling in this world with gender identity, and Caitlyn Jenner's transition gives them hope that they can be who they are. I think that's amazing.

We all struggle with different things in our life. Whatever you're struggling with I hope you have the courage to be yourself and the support system to help you rock it out. I hope we can all appreciate what other people are going through even if we don't understand it.


  1. Preach it, Samantha! I've been thinking about this all week. You articulated it beautifully!

    1. Thank you! I try not to delve into super hot topics (I prefer to stick to fashion critiques :)), but this has been driving me nuts!