It's Not About You

In response to Caitlyn Jenner's appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair, many people on Twitter have made transphobic remarks - which is unfortunately par for the course.

One person in particular - Drake Bell - began trending on Facebook and Twitter for his remarks, prompting many to wonder who Drake Bell is. Apparently he's a former child star, and a person who made a slew of easily avoidable errors on Twitter regarding Jenner.

Bell said that he would still refer to Caitlyn Jenner as Bruce and followed up with an explanation that he was attempting to honor Jenner's accomplishments and legacy as an athlete. The very front page of Vanity Fair is a simple request: Call me Caitlyn. Why does Bell immediately decide not to call her Caitlyn? Because Bell uses the same twisted logic that is often used by others to justify their transphobic remarks: it incorrectly presumes that a person expressing their identity somehow erases past accomplishments or relationships. It doesn't.

Let's be clear: refusing to accept Caitlyn Jenner for who she is disrespects her and her accomplishments. If Bell, or anyone, were actually interested in respecting Jenner they would honor her wishes, identify her with her correct pronouns, and use her correct name.

It costs you nothing to do this. Literally nothing. You don't lose anything by allowing Jenner to be herself, by accepting that this is who she is, and by respecting her wishes. There's no extra work, there's not a cost. If you don't honor her wishes, you're simply doing it out of some inexplicable fear or spite, or whatever complex workings of your own psyche that you might want to further assess, because it's incredibly ugly. It makes you look bad, and more importantly it says a lot about your character or lack thereof.

This also goes to friends and family of trans individuals. If you're too caught up with the idea that you've had a brother your entire life and now you have a sister, then you're not focusing on the fact that your sister is a person, in fact the same person who has always been there.

It's easy to not be a jerk about this, because it's not about you.