C-C-Caitlyn; Turn and Face the Strange

C-C- Caitlyn. Don’t any longer want to be a man. C-C- Caitlyn (Turn and face the strange) Just going to have to be a woman. Time may change he; but she can change times. Singing that to the tune of David Bowie’s “Changes”, and it was the first thing that popped into my head when the news dropped about Bruce Jenner’s new identity.
It’s been quite a month for our country. Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage nationwide. Confederate flags are dropping, while rainbow flags are rising. The tune “Changes” is apropos, as I feel this news marks just how far we’ve come as a society. When I saw the Vanity Fair cover article (as did most of the world whether you wanted to or not because it’s everywhere) and now yesterday’s ruling I thought- wow. I wonder what our older generations are thinking of this; probably something along the lines of: “What the hell is the world coming to!?”
Not trying to put myself in the ‘older’ category but this old-ish lady actually thinks the world is coming to a better place. There’s so much progress I’ve seen in the realm of rainbowacceptance in my mere 39 years marking that even my generation has seen a lot of changes by our midlives. I still have hand-written term papers from High School, went from beepers to cell phones, and am watching the slow but imminent demise of Encyclopedias.
It makes my heart smile to see so many people be able to express themselves freely from whom they date to what they wear full well knowing it wasn’t always this way. High school kids can now take same gender dates to their dances should they choose to do so. I’ve often thought about how many kids walked the halls of my high school depressed, turning to drugs, or even suicidal thoughts; because they were embarrassed about who they are, forcing themselves to go against their own nature for fear of social ostracization. I’m also secretly tickled these days when I see bankers with full sleeve tattoos or business execs with facial piercings – all things that were frowned upon when I entered the work force.
Yes, it is weird. I’ll say that too. It’s weird to see someone who was once on the cover of a box of Wheaties unveil herself in not much more than white corset. Then again I’m weird in my own way as well, which is probably why I’ll always have a soft spot for the oddball and while I may find it strange I firmly believe that she should be free to express herself in her own way. Just like we all should, however that looks. Google the word weird and the first definitions to pop up say: “Fate. Destiny. Magical. Of strange or extraordinary character”. Basically weird means accepting and owning who you are. Weirdos, rejoice! It really does take extraordinary character to stay true to your fate when the world tries its hardest to tell you to conform and if that’s the definition of weird then we’re doing all right.
I’ve often been embarrassed by my country, especially when conversing with my clients across the globe that ask me: “What the heck are you guys doing over there?!” These last few weeks, however, I feel the ceiling is shattered, walls have been broken down, lines in the sand washed away. We have crossed a new threshold of societal acceptance and raised our collective consciousness a little bit which is totally awesome regardless of how the naysayers feel.
Old ladies may secretly gasp in horror when they see that Vanity Fair cover finally drop in the grocery store checkout line, men who will still snicker at same sex couples; and there will always be ignorant people that “just don’t think that’s right”; but here it is folks. We’ve taken a giant leap towards the understanding that abnormal really is the social norm. I know there is a long way to go for my utopia of everyone being kind to everyone, but my hope is that this turns the tables on the haters and bullies. I hope that now, when you make a derogatory remark or slur about someone who is different than you, you are the one who gets socially ostracized. We’ve also had some terribly unfortunate social issues recently but instead of feeling overwhelmed by how far we have to go, let’s just take a moment to celebrate just how far we’ve come.

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