Casey’s Corner | May 2015

As May is just around the corner, I have had the fortunate opportunity to be able to express my views on KNX News Radio and on Fox Studio 11LA regarding Bruce Jenner. Each interview took place prior to his 2 hour special with Diane Sawyer. This made it more difficult to express my views because I had to be careful as I wasn’t exactly sure what he would say. Of course, after doing this work for more than 2 decades, I suspected that I’ve heard his story hundreds of times and wouldn’t be surprised by anything he said. Well, that’s not exactly what happened. I was genuinely touched by what he had to say. I call him male and Bruce because that’s what he wanted to be referred to during the interview. He did say that this would be the last time he would call himself male but was not ready to expand on this as he will have a reality show starting in July.

I was touched by his honesty, his vulnerability and his calmness. Obviously at 65, he has done everything in his power to try and suppress this. He had 3 wives, many children, a successful reality show, lots of money and fame but couldn’t do it anymore. This is the story that many older transgender people tell me. Why now? Why can’t you just give me some kind of pill so that I don’t have to disrupt my family or my children’s life? I’m being selfish. I can control it. I will purge my clothes, my make-up and my Facebook page so that I won’t be tempted. It’s a sexual thing and I can stop it. It’s a hobby and I will cross dress and leave it at that. What I have told my clients is that being transgender will always be a part of who you are. You may choose to not go forward and not transition but it will never go away. For some, it goes away for a while. It can go dormant for 30 or 40 years but in my professional opinion, it always comes back. I compare it to be gay or lesbian. It’s always a part of who we are. We can deny it and not live our authentic self but we will pay a heavy price for that decision.

Bruce spoke about not wanting to be an activist but he also knows that he has a lot of power and wants to change people’s minds. He in straightforward about being Republican and even though I found that interesting, I believe it will have to open up the minds of his fellow Republicans. How could it not? Will they ask him to leave the party? Wouldn’t that be funny? The party probably cannot believe that there are gay and lesbian Republicans, and now transgender Republicans. What in the world is going on?

I am personally thrilled with Bruce. I am mad as hell with Wendy Williams who has dealt with oppression herself and doesn’t get it. Bruce didn’t have all these children because he didn’t want to be a responsible, loving parent. I truly believe that he believed that having his family and his children would more than makeup for his desires to become a woman. He was self-less in my opinion for a long time. Is he being selfish now? Yes, he is and I don’t think you can transition without being selfish. I work with my clients to build their self worth and self esteem as transitioning is not without it’s risks and hardships. You will lose your partners most of the time. The children may or may not support you. Your friends may or may not stick around. Your colleagues may not want to hang out with you any longer. You may be discriminated against or even worse so I teach my clients to watch their back, don’t talk back or get into a fight and never walk at night alone. I would tell any of my female cis-gender clients the same thing.

What I know for sure is that Bruce will help people understand this medical condition better. It is not a mental disorder and many insurance companies are paying for the necessary surgeries. This means that transitioning from one gender to another meets the criteria for medical necessity and not elective surgery. I hope people out there understand the differences. I look forward to having the opportunity to speak out more to normalize, educate and embrace people who do not understand what being transgender or being a cross dresser means. I hope that people will educate themselves and have an open mind and an open heart especially if they come across a transgender person. Please don’t fear them as many would love for you to ask them questions about themselves, their process or how being themselves feels amazing. So many of my clients have gone on to live happy, prosperous and productive lives. In fact, I have watched many of my clients smile for the first time and feel hopeful for the future and excited for new possibilities.

As always, I am grateful to my readers and all my clients that have allowed themselves to be vulnerable and move through transition with integrity and the hope that they will feel more authentic on the inside and the outside. It’s a beautiful thing!

Until we meet again!

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