“You won another gold tonight,” Brody Jenner said on a photo he posted to Instagram on Saturday, April 25. “I stand with you on this journey. I love you Dad.”
Bruce Jenner, an iconic American athlete and Olympic gold medalist, told Diane Sawyer through teary eyes on Friday, April 24, 2015, that he was transgender.
For some, the announcement didn't come as a surprise. Photos surfaced on various online outlets and gossip magazines that showed Bruce with a freshly-painted manicure. Some began to speculate that he may have had plastic surgery or collagen injections.
As the rumors swirled, Jenner finally sat down with much of his family around him to make it official.
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And now Bruce can breathe easy.
In a blog published to Huffington Post's Gay Voices page, Jenner's second ex-wife, Linda Thompson, opened up about their marriage, how she found out he wanted to be a woman and how she supports his new journey.
“After having harbored his secret, and feeling in my heart and mind that I have protected him through these years, I can now breathe a little easier, knowing he now has found the strength and the courage to fulfill his dream. He can finally realize his need to be who he authentically is, who he was born to be. That takes tremendous courage. For that I commend him,” Thompson wrote. She ended the piece with the words “Be kind.”
Many of Bruce's other children also took to social media to support their father.
“I wrote this in 5th grade...nothing has changed,” model Kendall Jenner wrote about her father on Instagram. The photo she posted showed a clip of a questionnaire she filled out in elementary school. “If I could be anybody in the world, it would be my dad,” Jenner wrote as a child.
Kim Kardashian, Bruce's stepdaughter, posted a selfie of the two of them together after the taping with Sawyer aired on ABC, saying, “Love is the courage to live the truest, best version of your self. Bruce is love. I love you Bruce. #ProudDaughter”
Personally, I was afraid to see my Facebook news feed the Saturday after the announcement. I feared it would be filled with hateful statuses and awful memes about the athlete's announcement about his gender. Shockingly, I was wrong. Well, mostly.
Aside from a few posts that were inappropriate, most people on my news feed were incredibly supportive of Jenner's announcement to live the rest of his life as a woman. It showed, to me, that South Mississippi is growing more open-minded and tolerant of the LGBT community.
Then, I found a blog circulating online titled "How God Made Bruce Jenner," published by blogger Carlos Rodriguez on the Christian blog Happy Sonship
Rodriguez, who did send positive vibes and support to the athlete, also did something that I think is offensive.
“So Jesus looks at Bruce and loves him. He loved Peter the hothead. He loved Nathaniel the racist. He loved Thomas the doubter. He even loved Judas the traitor. For sure he will love the Bruce the transgender.”
I've grown up in the Catholic church, and am admittedly not the best Christian in the world. I don't go to church regularly and don't take communion at mass, but I do think that Jesus means love. Plain and simple. Jesus loved without judgment, but why should we always compare the LGBT community to racists, traitors and doubters? Why are these members of our community always thrown the line, “Love the sinner. Hate the sin.” Do we use that phrase to talk about criminals or cheaters or adulterers? I've never heard someone use the phrase when talking people who actually may have committed wrongdoing.
Why are we labeling a growing community and growing voice in society with judgment, even when Jesus tells us not to judge but love one another equally?
Why do we consider Bruce's gender a journey a sin rather than a new exploration in life? Bruce is happy just the way he is, and his family is happy for him, so who are we to judge?