What follows is a guest post by listener and fellow Middle Tennesseean Wraith Writer. He prefers not to use his real name because the views expressed in this piece could cause some devastating real-life repercussions, including the loss of his job. The fact that expressing views of tolerance and acceptance could result in such an outcome is a sad commentary on the state of our society, and it proves that, even though we’ve come a long way as a nation in the struggle for LGBT rights, we still have much further to go.
If you do not understand Caitlyn Jenner, it’s perfectly natural, and so is the fear you have. It is human nature to fear what we do not understand. Last year, many people didn’t understand that coming out of the closet was an “act of bravery”, and they ridiculed such a thing as being labeled brave. Here I see again the same people ridiculing ESPN’s choice to give Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award as well as Caitlyn Jenner herself.
You do not have to understand Caitlyn Jenner’s sexuality or the many others in the LGBT community, but you need to understand the realization every LGBT person faces when they decide to fully disclose their nature. They face the risk of being insulted, bullied, or assaulted (remember gay bashing?); being ostracized by their community; disowned by their family; fired from their job; and even being killed (12 transgender people murdered in 2014, and 9 people so far in 2015).
Yes, there are many other athletes who are very brave; who have inspired others; and who have faced death from a terminal disease. All of these people are accepted for who they are in this society and do not have to face ridicule for their nature. I have yet to hear of people being targeted for murder for being disabled, an amputee, or having a terminal disease.
These athletes did not have to deal with derogatory insults of it, thing, he/she, etc. Caitlyn is an athlete who is inspiring millions of transgendered people to be honest with themselves in the face of insults, violence, and death. How shameful I find it that you chose to display your “courage” by attacking a female while you sit by and say nothing about award winning, wife-beating Floyd Mayweather. Your verbal remarks are a shining example of the misogyny ingrained in the religious culture of our society.