“If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead…” —Bruce Jenner, the Espy Awards.
If you watched the ESPY Awards, between promos for ABC’s upcoming fall season, you could see plenty of examples of who should have won the Arthur Ashe “Courage” Award.
Bruce Jenner wasn’t one of those examples.
And if you really want to go down memory lane, you can find Jim Valvano’s 1993 ESPY speech on YouTube. As Jimmy V was dying of cancer, he told the crowd about his new Jimmy V Foundation, which would raise money to fund cancer research long after he was gone. And so it has.
Bruce is also raising money. For him or herself. About a half a billion reality dollars from what the various news sources say. And he is actually still a he; he told Diane Sawyer: “I was not genetically born that way. As of now, I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff. So, in a lot of ways, we’re different, OK, but we still identify as female. And that’s very hard for Bruce Jenner to say. Because, why? I don’t want to disappoint people.”
Ahem. Let’s add it up. He’s got a very large reality show contract—reported at $500,000,000 but who knows—he’s made a large amount of Kardashian money, and he apparently hasn’t yet had a surgeon take a scalpel to his male genitals.
He certainly has not disappointed his business managers.
This is one highly skilled self-promoter.
But a poster girl for the transgender community? A profile in courage?
You’ll forgive my skepticism.
The fact is this person could not wear Jimmy Valvano’s jockstrap with or without reassignment surgery. It’s not courage when you, personally, are getting paid for it. It’s self-promoting. Bruce is Martha Stewart on steroids.
Do not misunderstand me. I’m sure that there are people who feel they are trapped in the bodies of the opposite gender. So much so, they actually do something about it.
Most of those people don’t have a half a billion dollar reality show contract waiting for them on the other side. In fact, I’m willing to bet just about all of them except Jenner.
I can think of a lot of people in sports who have courage.
I can think of a lot of people who were at that evening’s ESPY awards show who have courage.
If Bruce had gone up on stage and said that he didn’t deserve any award nearly as much as the little girl who played in a college basketball game after being diagnosed with terminal cancer and died this year, I’d have some sympathy for him.
But the truth is, he couldn’t wear her jockstrap, either.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth