The more I think about Caitlyn the more I feel she is probably one of the best things that could have happened to transgender visibility. Yes she is far removed from many of the problems faced by the community at large (as am I admittedly), and yes she is only recently aware of most of these issues. But those are both things that make her an ideal point of view for a general audience. The people watching her story are also relative neophytes, which means they are able to take the journey along with her.
Caitlyn’s contributions to the world are indisputable. She made history, set a world record, inspired millions and had an immeasurable effect on our society. Yet had the world known her truth, this would not have happened. She would have been the same person with the exact same ability and potential, and history would be oblivious to what we might have missed out on.
Now her truth is revealed, and her path crosses that of a woman named Blossom Brown. Blossom says she wants to be a nurse and has the grades for it, but cannot get into medical school because she is trans. This is a person who could one day preserve lives that would otherwise be lost, who is being denied this opportunity based on factors over which she has no control, and cause no harm to anyone. To be blunt, this is absolutely stupid.
This calls to mind the issue of trans people service in the military. A US political figure recently suggested that the military is not a social experiment. Except there is no experiment here, trans people are already serving in the US military (trans people have been serving openly in the Canadian military for some time now). The only issue on the table is whether or not it’s ok for people to know they are trans, and really why on earth should that matter? Again these are people who’s contribution to the world is unquestionable, but who would be unable to contribute if certain inconsequential medical details were revealed.
The ramifications of denying our identity extend beyond our personal wellbeing. Wikipedia lists 17 names that have been taken from us this year alone, and we have no idea how many names are missing from that list. This isn’t a matter of conjecture or opinion. This isn’t about inconveniencing the masses for the comfort of a select few. It’s not about religious freedom. It’s not about understanding medical facts. It’s about a persons right to say their name and be heard, to stand beside one another and share our gifts. Every life matters.