Opinion Piece: Caitlyn Jenner, The Duggars, and Rachel Dolezal

I feel almost unsettled as of late, mostly due to what is swirling in the media. Caitlyn Jenner’s transition, lovely as it is, has put me on edge due to the amount of hate that I keep reading in the comments. Each one hurts me, despite the fact that it isn’t about me. I still feel it very keenly. I keep finding out how difficult emotions are, now that mine are back full force and then some. I applaud her for coming out, despite the less than welcoming attitude of some. She has saved countless lives by being an example to other LGBT youth, and hopefully has made this country a bit safer for LGBT people. But the hate still puts a pit of anxiety in my stomach. It makes me uncomfortable to see thousands and thousands of people hating LGBT people for something that is out of their control. It’s sad to be hated based off of sexual orientation or gender, as well as religion or skin color. This whole situation reminds me that there is still a lot of work to do regarding topics like this, and the more media time they are allowed, the more normalized they become.

The Duggar family also has triggered my outrage, and has caused me to kick a few friends out of my life. One friend, a few years younger than I am (she just graduated high school) kept repeating that it is their business, they took care of it on their own and we should leave it alone. This by itself is outrageous to me, as Josh never received proper counseling or punishment (as praying and working in construction isn’t a punishment). But I feel the most sorry for his victims. They were raised in a family that devalues women, and Josh’s parents allowed Josh’s behavior to continue for several more times before taking action. This could have been prevented. Instead of owning up to their guilt now, they have sent out their daughters to save the family’s reputation by saying that they have forgiven him. Sexual abuse is not something that is so easily overcome, especially since the girls received no help either, or support from the family. They were told to keep their heads down and say nothing. That family is poisonous and so hypocritical, as well as unapologetic. It’s almost laughable that they had the nerve to accuse LGBT people of being child molesters, when their own son is one. To pass this off as ‘alright’ or ‘already taken care of’ is nonsense. We have a justice system for a reason, and Josh has not served his time for his crime. We can’t make exceptions. Where would we be if you could escape capital punishment by praying about it? This whole situation just makes me so angry.

This one is (literally) close to home for me, as I live in Spokane, so there has been a lot of talk about it. I am a bit conflicted about the Rachel Dolezal situation. Some people are comparing her situation to being transgender, declaring that she is transracial. Some are outraged because she can’t change her race. I honestly am unsure what to think. The fact that she lied about her original ethnicity is irksome to me, as one of the things that I value highly is honesty. It also irritates me that she has taken job positions that are for black women, reducing opportunities for black women. I also can’t entirely wrap my head around the concept of being transracial, as gender and race are two completely different things, and in my opinion, race isn’t fluid, while gender can be. I get that Dolezal admired black culture, and decided to join it, rejecting white culture. That’s understandable. But transracial? You can’t change your ethnicity, only what culture you decide to assimilate to, correct? Maybe I need to be more openminded, but I honestly never considered race to have flexibility. Culture does- she took on black culture. I don’t know whether it is even possible to take on black ethnicity.

Opinions? Comments? Clarifications? Feel free to drop a line below.