Welcome to my random middle of the night rant.
I know, just what the world needs, another nobody on the internet talking about the whole Caitlyn Jenner thing. But I’ve kind been silently following everything this week, interested but not invested in the story. I’m not one to really pay too close attention to celebrities, just never had a real desire to know the intimate details of strangers’ lives. But I will admit Jenner has piqued my interest because I have loved ones struggling with gender identity right now. So I quietly watched her transition from my little corner of the world.
I knew there would be people out there who would be small-minded and say awful things about Jenner and the trans community in general. It is a sad fact of the world. I’m sure she expected that too. I try not to let those people get under my skin too much, I hope she won’t either. They can’t wrap their tiny little brains around something as complex as gender and sexual identity. Just pat them on their heads and walk away, no amount of reasoning will really change their minds, and trying is a waste of energy.
What has bothered me, though, are the amount of people posting on social media saying “who cares about Caitlyn Jenner? That’s not courage this is courage.” You’ve seen the memes and posts. Pictures of injured soldiers with captions saying something like “this is what real courage looks like!” Or stories of cancer survivors who have overcome a great deal of pain to do something amazing, and declarations that they should have won the Arthur Ase Courage Award at the ESPYs.
And here is my problem with that argument: Why does one person’s tale of courage and overcoming adversity have to out weigh anyone else’s? There is no such thing as a surplus of courage. We will never have enough examples of courage in the world. And just because Jenner is getting attention for her journey right now does not in any way diminish the many men and women in the world who have struggled and overcome adversity.
Courage comes in many forms. I see courage in the face of my friend who gets out of bed every day to face life with a child with special needs, a husband with an addiction, and never enough money to go around. But she gets up and she does what she needs to for her kids. That is courage too. Celebrating Jenner right now will not make that friend any less of a hero to the people in here life.
I see courage in the many veterans who struggle with PTSD and debilitating injuries, and I know we all love and appreciate their sacrifice. Their courage has paved the way for our freedom; Jenner and all of us can lead our lives without having to fear being persecuted by our government thanks to those men and women (I can hear the trolls sharpening their pitchforks right now).
Saying that one person is more deserving of the description “courageous” than someone else is like saying any one is more deserving of the title of “person.” My being a person doesn’t make you less of one. Jenner being honored for her courage doesn’t in any way suggest that people like Noah Galloway or Lauren Hill shouldn’t be honored for their courage.
So instead of spreading these silly memes and articles I say good for you Caitlyn! You are joining an astounding amount of people serving as examples of perseverance in our world. There will never be too much courage.
Leave me a comment with your story of courage, because even if it hasn’t made the news, it is still just as amazing and I’d love to hear it!