Bruce Jenner is courageous

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It’s easy to mock the different. Americans do it all the time and because we do, the mocking starts very early in life. In school, from day one, we mock kids who dress, act, or talk different that the norm. It happens in schools filled with children from rich or poor neighborhoods and it is done by children of all colors, male or female.

The mocking continues until high school graduation, and if you have ever been to any reunions, continues among some who never grow up. Mocking is often called a form of bullying. Whether or not it is or isn’t, it is almost always done without regard for the person being mocked.

Mocking is not always a bad thing. Lets face it, many of us love films like Best in Show, a mocumentary that pokes fun at dog show competitions. We tune into to watch SNL to see the cast mock the famous and newsworthy. In most cases, their “victims” brought the mocking on themselves and they know it comes with being famous.

We have all heard stories of kids who tired of being mocked and deciding to kill themselves or went on a shooting rampage. We question whether or not it was the mocking (bullying) that caused it or whether or not they suffered from a mental illness. However, every now and then, someone comes along who displays a level of guts and bravery the mockers, myself included, lack and they become the face of something that changes society’s thinking.

As a high school student in the mid 1970’s, there were rumors that actor Rock Hudson was gay. It was not talked about much but every now and then you would hear someone say, “I hear Rock Hudson is gay. Do you think it’s true?” Back then, Hollywood and the media respected a person’s private life and people did not gossip as much as we do today.

When AIDS came to the forefront of society and Hudson was diagnosed with it, the result was a profound shift in our culture. Everyone in the country, young and old, homosexual or homophobic, now had a face to attach to a horrible epidemic. Suddenly, many of the less compassionate became compassionate.

Today, Bruce Jenner, Olympic decathlon gold medalist, Wheaties box fame, and yes, part of the Kardashian clan, is finally going public with his decision to transition from male to female. Americans all know someone now who is going through the transgender process thanks to our sick infatuation with a family that provides us with no other social value.

Jenner could have decided to continue living a “lie” and die as a man, an unhappy one at that. He could have continued cashing in on his Olympic fame and glory and forever be known as America’s “Golden Boy.” However, he chose to make public his desire to transition from man to woman despite fully knowing he will continue to be mocked by late night talk show hosts, comedians, and anyone on social media looking for a quick and easy laugh.

Thanks to Bruce Jenner, many other scared people will gain the strength and courage needed to move forward with what can only be a painfully difficult and confusing decision, one that threatens people with the loss of family, friends, and career.

Bruce Jenner will now forever be known for something far greater than Olympic glory. Bruce Jenner will be the person Americans credit for changing how we look at a group of people who until now have been known and mocked for being different. Bruce Jenner is breaking down one more wall and helping Americans to grow as a culture and that is something that should be praised and never mocked.

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Editor’s note: Jenner was just involved in a fatal car accident on the Pacific Coast Highway. It is still under investigation and cause of the crash has not been fully determined.