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The Caitlyn Controversy

I don’t usually write or talk about reality TV stars, cause well, I just don’t. Putting the spotlight on people who crave the spotlight seems like a waste of time so I just refrain. While I don’t want to paint all reality TV folks with the same brush, I’ll still state with confidence and conviction that some folks crave the camera like crackheads crave crack. I for one am not into feeding anyone’s addiction. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

I went on a work assignment recently and on my way back into the city I had a conversation with my really chatty female cabbie. Usually when I come back from these things I just want silence and the half sleep I can enjoy while I make my way home after hours on a plane. My cabbie wasn’t having it. On and on she went moving from topic-to-topic from subject-to-subject not taking my grunted responses as a hint that maybe I wasn’t up for the jibber jabbering. She chatted endlessly until she settled on the subject that made her voice go high and made her thick Spanish accent deepen. The topic was of one Mr(s) Bruce Caitlyn Jenner.

Suddenly when discussing this topic my cabbie became eloquent, passionate and philosophical. I believe gay and transgender people should have their rights, you know, she said hands flung high in the air for effect. I don’t believe you should beat them up and do bad things to them because you don’t believe in their lifestyle. But this Bruce guy, he crazy! she said with conviction. He have problems, you know? He wants to mutilate himself and people are calling him a hero. Hero! she said with disgust. If he wants to be a woman that is his business but hero my friend he is not. We have to teach our kids and society what the real meaning of hero is. Heroes are people who risk their lives for others, who sacrifice their lives for others, heroes are people who do great things to make the world a better place. If a man wants to wear makeup and a dress on national TV how is he a hero? The world is going to hell if this is what we think makes someone heroic. He is brave, maybe, but that is it. She ended her rant with that dramatic statement and was quiet for the rest of the trip leaving us both silent with our thoughts. While I would have rather made my way home to  Brooklyn without the social commentary, in my half sleep I acknowledged silently that my cab driver had a point.

Bruce Jenner, sorry, Caitlyn Jenner whether you agree with his/her change or not is a man making a personal life choice. With Memorial Day just weeks ago and bodies still coming home draped in the American flag to families that they will never see again, I too question having the word hero brandished about so freely. Ms Jenner (Not Kris) is a woman with a plan, a purpose and a mission to self express, may she wave her freaky flag in peace and prosperity. But hero is a big word and it has muscle and teeth.

In today’s day and age where tolerance and acceptance are at its zenith, I pray that we don’t diminish what it means to be heroic. I hope that despite our acceptance of other in all forms, a hero doesn’t only mean rocking a new pair of double D’s, a tight designer dress and lipstick.

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About the Author

Stephanie Small, Sistah & Superhero! Author, Educator, Personal Growth Coach & wannabe Superhero! Author of Black Girl's Guide to Winning at Love & Life! (Available on Amazon.com, B&N and Kobo)

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