This past June marked the start of a new beginning for same-sex equality. After the Supreme Court's historic decision on same-sex marriage, the world, especially the social media world, brought out their best pride flags. Whether a member of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, it did not matter. Acceptance was finally the name of the game, or so it seemed.
Like most know, social media accounts were dressed in the most colorful pride flags. Allies posted their rainbow pictures in support for their LGBTQ+ friends and family members. Surprisingly enough though, those same allied supporters are the ones who are now conditioning their acceptance. In an attempt to go with the supportive herd mentality, they drenched themselves in pride flags. But now that the dust has settled, their true colors are shown. A couple of weeks ago self-proclaimed ally posted this in regards to Ms. Caitlyn Jenner:
I've heard you say you "identify as a woman." But I find that highly unlikely and insulting. You see, Mr. Jenner, there is more to being a woman than beautiful gowns and fake boobs. There is more to being a woman than makeup and pretty hair. This is something we mothers begin teaching our young daughters at an early age.
As a woman of nearly 50 years, I can tell you what it is truly like to be a woman. You may be able to understand or even empathize, but you are definitely NOT able to "identify." For instance, you will never know what it is like to wake up every 28 days with searing stomach pain so bad it doubles you over, yet still trot off to work or school as though everything is fine. You will never know what it is like to have your car break down on the side of the road and when a couple men stop to help your prayer is that their intentions are good because there is no way on earth you have the ability to physically hang let alone overpower them. You have no idea what it is like to long to have a child only to have your third miscarriage, yet still manage to be able to share in the joy of all the other young mothers in your life. You will never know what it's like to get pregnant, gain 40 lbs (1/3 your total body weight), hurl all morning long for four months straight, yet still care for your other two toddlers, and not drive your husband to the brink. You will never know what it is like to give birth to a 10 lb. baby boy with absolutely no medication! You will never know what it is like at the age of 50 to be walking down the streets of Phoenix and popping in the Dairy Queen for a cool refreshing treat only to be gripped at that moment with your fourth hot flash of the day.
I have, in my life, met many women who have been widowed. For me to walk up to them and say I identify with them would be ludicrous. Like I said earlier, I can empathize with them, but I cannot identify myself as one of them because I don't know what that is like, I can only imagine. And let's not even talk about women who have worked through their double mastectomy.
No, Mr. Jenner there is more to being a woman than you could ever experience or even imagine. And lesson #1 for all true women is this - botox injections, plastic surgeries, designer clothing, and public approval is NOT what makes a woman. A real woman is one who in spite of the stretch marks, age spots, dirt under her nails and tired eyes, and even with 1/2 plastic photoshopped supermodels as her competition, she has carried herself in such a way that her family, husband, and children, see her real beauty and find her far more valuable than rubies or diamonds and they rise up and call her blessed.
Mr. Jenner you are a privileged white male living in the U.S.A. In fact, you are so free and so privileged, you can even spend your massive amounts of money to change your outward appearance to whatever you wish. That is NOT something most woman around the globe are free to do even if they wanted. MOST women in our world don't even have access to a high school education. So, Mr. Jenner, I find your claim to identify as "a woman" disingenuous, uneducated, and honestly - quite offensive.
Now, I may not be as educated as I would like to be on the topic of transgender men and women, and I can't say that I can begin to understand what it is like to be a cisgender woman. However, what I do know is that being a man or a woman is much more than biology. There is much more to being a woman than bearing children and menstruating, because every woman is individually unique in their own way. Being a female or male deals with something that goes beyond what we do with our body, it deals with our soul. Identifying as male or female is something that goes deep into our minds and emotions, making us feel comfortable or uncomfortable with how we were born. I do not pretend to even begin to understand what transgender women or cisgender experience day to day, but I can attest to the fact that gender identity is personal and individual. You can't put biology and identity in the same scale, they are just not always comparable.
And for God's sake, it's Ms. Jenner, not Mr. Jenner. Even if you don't agree with the lives led by the transgender community, she already made the transition. Just go with it; it's a matter of respect. If you don't know how it feels to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community, if you don't know how it feels to be a transgender man or woman, and wont let understanding and acceptance into your heart, don't pretend to call yourself an ally. Because being an ally does not mean supporting your gay family members or friends, it means supporting all those who are represented in the the LGBTQ+ acronym. Being an ally means supporting gay, bisexual, transgender and other communities alike. Love and acceptance are not conditional, you either feel them and live them or you don't.
There's more to being true to yourself than biology. And there is certainly more to being an ally than changing your profile picture in 'support' for something you do not fully accept.