Why I Won't be Watching Caitlyn Jenner's Reality Show
That said, I will not be tuning into any coverage of Caitlyn Jenner and her upcoming reality show this summer. Now, before I get a TON of hate mail, NO it's NOT because I don't agree with her transition. NO, it's NOT because I'm some kind of unfeeling, insensitive or ignorant human being who doesn't support identity expression. I will not be tuning into the show for one reason and one reason only: human exploitation.
OK, before the pitchforks come out, please take a second to hear me. I am NOT SAYING that expressing yourself isn't a priority. I am NOT saying that personal rights aren't a priority. I AM saying that a journey through personal discovery on the covers of magazines and TV screens, with millions of dollars of profit that are not going to be used to help or solve any issue, something that thousands of people walk through every day, is NOT heroism, it's exploitation.
If Bruce, now Caitlyn, had transitioned, walked down a street with quiet confidence, and then given an inspiring interview about her decision, I might have respected that. If the money from this campaign actually went to something that could better the world and/or society, for, I don't know, say troubled youths, I might have even sung praises. Instead, Caitlyn gave high profile interview after high profile interview, and purposefully went places that were known to be populated by paparazzi — all in an effort to launch a campaign for a reality show that, money wise, could rival any political campaign. She brought awareness to an issue (good) and literally nothing else (not so good).
And it worked. For the past six weeks, more coverage on this one person, coverage and promotion for the new resulting reality show, and coverage of people who agree and disagree over the issue of transgender transitioning has literally taken over EVERY ASPECT of today's news. However, none of this money will be going to help anyone. And while there is evidence from Business Insider that Caitlyn did not receive payment for the Vanity Fair cover out this month, there is evidence that there are millions of dollars already made from this story and predicted to be made in the upcoming reality series that will be paid solely to Caitlyn just for making every part of her transition process public for society to gawk at, ridicule, applaud or praise.
Now, I'm not perfect nor am I the moral police. I'm just a girl. A girl who believes in women's rights, faith, family, love, support, and yes, expression of identity. I'm a girl who has seen pain, who has watched friends in the LGBT and Christian communities alike get teased, hurt, abused and misunderstood to the point where they consider taking their own lives (so believe me when I say I do not say any of this lightly). I'm a girl who both loves and is confused by this incredible country that she has the privilege to call home, a country that will praise awareness over the struggles and prejudices towards identity (a good cause), but won't take up arms to raise the same amount of awareness for the thousands of little girls and boys enslaved in human trafficking every day (an equally legitimate current cause). I'm a girl saying that our society seems to cares more about what the media tells them, and what the media tells society to care about is what it is paid to tell society to care about. And maybe society is OK with that — but I'm not.
I care about more than Caitlyn; I care about all people.
I care about enslaved children, and lives lost to war, prejudice and ignorance. I care about the real world, not just a little bit of the "fantasy world" that Hollywood, and yes, even Caitlyn, promotes and profits off of. I care enough to be the "brave" one and write this article, knowing that it isn't popular, knowing that it won't be widely accepted, but knowing that it's got to be said in a way that isn't obnoxious, ridiculous or insensitive.
While I do hope for Caitlyn's happiness in the days to come, I won't be tuning in to her upcoming reality show. I'll be using that hour or so every week to walk down to my local community's humble little youth center and hopefully bring some light and love into the world instead of more controversy and gossip for controversy and gossip's sake. But what do I know? I'm just one girl, and I'm still learning.