The Diane Sawyer interview where Bruce Jenner came out as a trans woman was largely positive. His biological children had nothing but wonderful things to say about him, even though he did not have a close bond with four out of six of them during their childhoods. His whole family, including ex-wives and stepchildren, have shown their support for him. The whole situation is being viewed through such rose colored glasses, that I wonder if the same kind of support would have been shown towards Kris Jenner if the situation were reversed.
Role Reversal: Imagine Kris Jenner as transgendered
This video is an accompaniment to the rest of this article. It is an invitation to reflect on what the public’s reaction would be to Kris Jenner being transgendered and whether or not she would receive the same kind of support that Bruce Jenner has received.
Kris the Olympian
Imagine Kris as a young woman. She’s an Olympic athlete and married to a handsome young man. The two stay married from 1972-1981. She produces two kids with him, Burt and Casey, and then she divorces the dashing young man. Prior to marrying this first husband, she did not disclose that she is actually a crossdressing trans man. When she revealed her secret after they had taken their marriage vows, he thought he might be able to change her but it was of no use. She had little contact with Burt and Casey after the divorce and quickly remarried.
She is married to a new young man from 1981-1986. She has her third and fourth children, Brandon and Brody, during this time period. She comes out to her second husband as a trans man, reveals she wants to transition, and suggests she can re-enter Brandon and Brody’s lives as Uncle Heath. This leads to her second divorce.
However, after taking male hormone treatments, and before undergoing gender reassignment surgery, Kris meets Bruce Jenner. She produces two kids with him, and she accepts his biological children, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob, as her own. Kris and Bruce remain married for decades before she eventually confesses that she wants to transition. She can no longer remain as Kris Jenner. They divorce as a result, and Kris is now on her way to become Christopher Jenner.
The real story
Of course, this is the exact reverse situation that has been going on. Bruce was married twice, produced several kids (he had little to do with most of them during their childhoods), and did not disclose his gender dysphoria prior to marrying any of his spouses.
Imagine ‘Kris Jenner: The Interview’
Now, imagine one last thing. Imagine that Kris did an interview with Diane Sawyer about her transition. The children she ignored and virtually abandoned for years have all remarkably forgiven her. Her first two husbands have nothing but supportive comments to offer about her. However, there is no comment from her latest ex-husband Bruce. After the interview airs on TV to an expectant nation, gossip writer Perez Hilton tweets: “Bruce Jenner has no comment for ABC news and the #KrisJenner interview. Her other two ex-husbands give supportive statements.”
Would people sympathize less with Kris?
In reality, do you think people would be appalled if Bruce refused to comment about the interview? What if Bruce were extremely angry that Kris was a trans man, because she did not disclose that prior to marriage? In fact, what if no one could forgive her? What if the children from her first two marriages all accused her of being a bad mother and didn’t want contact with her anymore? Would anyone be upset about that?
When your wife is really a guy…
The Perez Hilton tweet was actually in response to the lack of comment from Kris Jenner for the Diane Sawyer interview. My fake tweet was just a role reversal of it. In reality, Kris tweeted back: “PerezHilton f—k you Perez no one asked me to comment ….and I’m sitting with Bruce now watching this show so let’s keep it real…LOL….” This was a bluntly supportive tweet, but it’s hard to imagine people expecting a man to be so supportive of his ex-wife for coming out as a guy.
Just one of the guys?
Today, Fox News posted an article with a smiling Bruce Jenner and his first and second wives. Bruce is just one of the girls now. Would Kris be accepted as just one of the guys if the situation were reversed? This isn’t a criticism of Bruce Jenner. On the contrary, this is an examination of how a man is able to do all of the above, good and bad, and still command a high amount of support. That same amount of support may not have been there had he been Kris Jenner instead.