We know Bruce Jenner because he’s an Olympic medalist, because we kept up with the Kardashians, or because of his stunning revelation recently that he’s gender transitioning—but truth be told, some of us may not actually even know him or may not even care about him at all. Today though, Bruce is gone and the world welcomed Caitlyn Jenner—a woman who, while technically has no past, can teach us a number of things about being true to ourselves and having the courage to show to the world who we really are. She’s undeniably a great role model for transgenders, the LGBT community, and come to think of it, to each of us.
Think about your initial reaction when you found out about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. Were you amazed by her courage to come out in the open and subject herself to so much judgment? Or were you puzzled as to why she’s doing all of this? Either way, you should know that regardless of your gender, sexual preference, or age, what she did speaks to you—to your mastery of yourself and your determination to live the best life you could, free from pretense. Caitlyn showed everyone that it’s literally “never too late to be what you might have been.” At 65, she’s starting over as her true self, and hopes to be the best person she could, starting by making up for her shortcomings to her children.
The support she’s gotten from celebrities and some of the world’s most influential people is impressive—wouldn’t it be wonderful if the LGBT community in general got the same amount of support as she did? Here in the Philippines, for instance, while the LGBT community has been gaining more liberty and respect, so much still has to be done. Bottomline: Each person deserves to live a life where he or she can be true to himself or herself—and be respected for that choice.
We have to stop gender-shaming in the same way we should stop fat-shaming, and skin color-shaming. While women and men will never know what it feels like to be ridiculed like the LGBTs, we’ve all had our share of trying times in one way or another and we know it’s never easy: It’s about time we start showing more compassion, kindness, and love to whoever we meet.