Removing the Rose Colored Glasses: The Ugly Truth About Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition

Removing the Rose Colored Glasses: The Ugly Truth About Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition

Bruce Jenner is no more. The world has now been introduced to Caitlyn Jenner. The woman that, Jenner says, has always lived inside of him.

The Vanity Fair cover was shocking to say the least. The world went from knowing a striking male athlete for the past 40 years to being introduced to a new “woman” outfitted in no less than a corset sans skirt/pants.

Once the cover was released, the left was quick to issue gushing praise. “This is a beautiful moment” enthused Mic, “You look great, Caitlyn! Can’t wait to see more” gushed Jezebel…the list could go on and on.

Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner has now become the most widely known transgender person to date; not only that, but it is one of the most startling shifts the world has ever seen. Bruce, as far as public perception went, was never considered anything less than manly. His reputation as a world class athlete was not easily overlooked. He was the voice of common sense on Keeping up with the Kardashians where his manly antics were often featured; from his countless golf outings to his man cave/home away from Kris Jenner, Bruce Jenner seemed like nothing less than the manly man we all thought he was.

Now that person, or the perception of that person, is gone.

Many, including those on the right, were quick to praise Jenner’s “courage” and “bravery”. One comment, in particular, has played over and over in my mind today; it read “As long as you’re [Jenner] not hurting anyone else in the process, who cares?”

Not hurting anyone? I would have to disagree. Jenner is hurting a lot of people, with the deepest pain being doled out to those closest to him, his family. Regardless of the statements issued by the Kardashian and Jenner families, it is obvious that his family was deeply hurt and struggled with his desire to transition. Kim Kardashian explained in one interview that there is a sense of “death” around Jenner’s transition.

I think her description is a very apt one. As anyone who has had to experience it knows, the death of a parent is unbearably painful.  The death of a parent, especially at a young age, will have a profound impact on the rest of a person’s life.

Now, think how much more painful a parent’s death would be, if that parent was shown to be fraud, a fake, a different person than they had ever known. This is exactly what the Jenner children are experiencing right now and just like a death, as time goes on, the pain will lessen but it will never truly go away.

Another hurt that comes with a parent changing their sexual identity, are the nagging questions that will, no doubt, run through his children’s minds.

I have a close friend who experienced a similar situation. Instead of finding out that their parent was transgender; this individual found out that their father, who was in the silver stages of life at the time, was gay. He had lived most of his adult life as a straight man, married with children. After it was revealed that he was gay, his children struggled to cope with the questions. Had he ever loved their mother? Was he acting on his desires while he was still married? Was their whole life a lie? These questions haunt his children and will haunt them for the rest of their life; because when a parent makes such a drastic change, it rips out a part of not only their father’s identity, but their identity as well.

Even though his transition has most likely caused his family pain, many people will still say “Who cares? As long as Bruce/Caitlyn is happy, that’s all that matters”.

The problem here is that Jenner may, in fact, be hurting himself as well. He is hurting himself by letting his desires destroy the person and life he has created for the last 65 years. I know many will disagree with me on this issue but transgenderism is a mental disorder, a disorder that needs to be dealt with just like any other mental disorder. Dr. Paul McHugh, a psychiatrist and professor at Johns Hopkins University, once compared transgenderism to anorexia. Both are disorders that affect one’s perception of themselves. In an article for the Wall Street Journal he wrote,

The transgendered suffer a disorder of “assumption” like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists. With the transgendered, the disordered assumption is that the individual differs from what seems given in nature—namely one’s maleness or femaleness. Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight.

Just like someone struggling with a skewed perception of their weight will think that losing another five pounds will fix all of their problems, those with a skewed perception of their gender feel that if they fix their gender, their whole life will change for the better. But, will a gender reassignment really fix all of their problems?

The short answer is – no.

According to one study, the mortality rate of transsexuals following gender reassignment surgery, especially death due to suicide, was significantly higher than in individuals who had not undergone gender reassignment surgery. Other studies have pointed to the fact that, as many as, 1 in 5 individuals who have undergone gender reassignment surgery, regrets their decision.

These statistics poke a huge hole in the narrative that has been spreading like wildfire since the Vanity Fair cover was released. The narratives goes something like this, all a transgender individual needs to be happy is the ability to be true to themselves. By Jenner transitioning and being featured on the front of a national magazine, it will provide freedom and empowerment to all transgender people thus releasing them from their life of agony.

In an effort to push this narrative, Mic featured a tweet that mentioned the transgender individual Leelah Alcorn, who committed suicide last December, that read,

Alcorn had written in his suicide note that we needed to “fix society” and many on the left want us to believe that Jenner’s transition will help “fix” society. The problem is we can’t fix society, as Alcorn pleaded, if it isn’t society that, in this instance, needs fixing.

Transgender individuals believe that if they can only be the other gender, and if society will only support them, that the pain they have struggled with for so long will simply disappear. Unfortunately, many times it is the individual’ s own mental struggle and the deep seated pain of their own choices that will continue to haunt them long after society accepts them. Just like a person with an eating disorder will struggle more as the weight loss compliments flow, the transgender individual will find the emptiness they thought would be filled by gender reassignment will never disappear because the dysmorphic view of their gender is only a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

Photo courtesy of Vanity Fair.

About author

Elizabeth Vale
Elizabeth Vale 76 posts

Elizabeth is a writer, speaker, and political activist who lives in South Florida with her husband and four wonderful children. Elizabeth homeschools her children and is active in her local church and community. You can find her online at and on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ by clicking the links below.

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