Mourning Bruce Jenner

caitlynjenner

Caitlyn Jenner: Lady of the ‘mo.

I wanted to get on here and talk about Caitlyn Jenner and write this really positive piece about how wonderful it is she’s out and how we should all embrace her with every fibre of our beings because she is so beautiful and stunning and amazing and good on her because secrets are terrible and how horrific for her to be harbouring this secret all her life and be your best and happiest self and all that.

And while all of that is true, every single word, I really, really, can’t help but feel for her family.

I mean. It’s easy to imagine they’d be in a period of mourning. And while Caitlyn Jenner iterates and re-iterates that she’s not going anywhere – that she’s still “Dad” –  the truth is, the father they knew, the husband three women exchanged vows with and raised children with, is gone. 

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Bruce Jenner is gone.

Caitlyn talks about Bruce like he’s a person of the past. She’s said Caitlyn’s kinder than Bruce; more generous than Bruce; has more friends than Bruce. And I suppose she’s trying to say it’s because she’s happier – I mean, of course she is now her secret is out – but she speaks of him like he belonged in another lifetime. And I guess he did.

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But what does that mean for the children who always saw him – even relied on him – as the male figure in their lives? For the women who spent years with a man they went into a marriage thinking they would grow old with?

In a recent episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, one titled “About Bruce”, I saw Bruce proudly show-off his hot pink pedicure to Kim. His expression rattled me, perhaps even more so because only a few minutes before we saw footage of Kim as a school girl and Bruce the father figure.

People often forget the Kardashians - well-oiled publicity machines who have their fair share of critics – are human. I mean, it’s easy to forget thanks to books called selfish and sex tapes and 72 day marriages and um, er, what are they famous for again?

But this stuff is real stuff.

While the family comes off, publicly, as fully accepting of her decision to transition, do they have the right to be angry? Would the public begrudge them the right to feel deceived and even lied to?

When I saw Bruce show Kim his hot pink pedicure, and later on his new – female – wardrobe, I couldn’t help but put myself in Kim’s shoes; in Kris’s shoes.

I am incredibly close to my father. And if he was that Bruce – if he was any trans man that has lived the life of a husband and a father for 65 years – while it would break my heart to know he was carrying this burden for such a long time, I think I would feel hurt, and sad, and really, really overwhelmed with it all.

Just the visual things alone: the breasts, the make-up, the clothes, the hair, the heels.

For us looking in, Caitlyn Jenner is amazing. She’s inspirational and her voice for the trans community is huge and I am certain she’s already saved lives and given endless hope to those that have felt desperately helpless.

And I expect to her family, she’s equally incredible. I can only assume amongst all their confusion and sadness they feel at peace that she’s at peace.

But I suspect it doesn’t make mourning Bruce Jenner any easier.

  • Justine Goldfinch

    Well said. However, I feel for her parents. My husband and I discussed this in depth during the week and what our feelings would be if something like this happened. I know as a parent, whilst I would totally be supportive of my child, I would still mourn for the lost childhood memories. Does this mean our memories of our little boy/girl are to be lost forever? Would we be considered selfish mourning the loss of these? Do we just wipe them out forever? Would this mean we would have to stop ourselves at family gatherings from uttering the words “Remember that time…..”?

    Apologies for the bad grammar – reading your blog and commenting at work whilst supposedly working ;)

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Of course – you’re so right, the parents are also mourning. And childhood memories… you couldn’t even begin to imagine what they are all going through. But I guess love conquers all, so with time, they will all be healed and if the common ground is wanting Caitlyn to be happy, that’s most important.

      P.S Your grammar is perfect!

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