Speculation has been confirmed tonight with Bruce Jenner’s admission to Diane Sawyer that he has been undergoing a gender transition over the past several years. Jenner opened up about how he felt, even during the days following his incredible accomplishment in sports history, and how he struggled with his identity.
It was almost difficult to watch the first several minutes of the interview as it seemed like Bruce was drunk or on something. Generally a quiet individual, living in the shadows of his much more outgoing family members, his awkward demeanor at the start may have been out of discomfort as he seemed to relax a bit as the interview went on and he became more at ease.
The questions from Sawyer were typical. How long had he felt this way? He would explain to her that he liked to try on his sister’s clothes when they were very young, talking about the fact that he knew nothing other than it made him feel good. How did he deal with it for so many years? Jenner discussed the fact that, in the years of his youth, there was no one to talk to and there was no information out there. He focused his frustration as it related to his identity crisis into determination and drive leading to the title of World’s Greatest Athlete. Had he told his wives? Yes, he had. And generally, they dealt with it and are supportive today. Is he gay? No. And he had to tell her more than once as she just seemed to not understand. As he explained it clearly the first time, his gender-identity crisis has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. He has been married, had kids, and is attracted to women.
These were the questions that I expected to be asked. The questions that most of us probably had, at least those of us who have been unable to escape the headlines or DVRed episodes of The Kardashians saved by our wives or girlfriends. The one question that shocked me the most, however, followed the point in which Bruce Jenner stated that he falls on the Conservative side. Seemingly stunned, Sawyer gasped and asked, “are you a Republican?” Indeed he is.
It was not the fact that she asked the question that was shocking. It was the fact that Sawyer just could not believe that someone going through this could possibly be a Republican. Aren’t you worried what your Conservative friends will think she asked; making her ignorance abundantly clear.
The problem in America today is that there is a clear misunderstanding about what it means to be conservative, which was made obvious by a 20 second segment in Diane Sawyer’s interview with Olympic Champion, Bruce Jenner. The media portrays Conservatives as people with closed minds and an unwillingness to change. People unaccepting of others and lacking compassion. All of this could not be further from the truth.
Conservatives are people with a strong belief in values and principles. One could argue that all of us are Conservative at heart. We all believe in the importance of family and a household in which children grow up with love, support and guidance. Very few would argue that hard work is not important. And most would agree that we should put in effort to get what we want in life. Conservatives believe in the Constitution, individual responsibility and that the government has no place in telling us how to live every aspect our lives. Conservatives believe in freedom.
The fight that is seemingly always picked, however, is in regard to Gay Marriage and the acceptance of homosexuality, which is the road that Sawyer was heading down with Jenner. It is safe to say that a majority of Conservatives today would agree that their belief, as it pertains to this topic, is that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman. Religious Conservatives go a bit further pointing out that they believe homosexuality is a sin, BUT (and this is the part of the statement that the media always leave out or skims over) we are all sinners in our own way and that God loves and forgives us all. And although we believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, we acknowledge openly that this is our own individual belief and we are adamant that the federal government has no role in this debate.
So for Diane Sawyer to act so shocked that Jenner considers himself a Republican, and questioning him as if he is, for some reason, going to be outcast or hated by those on the political right was annoying and showed her ignorance and true lack of understanding as far as what it means to be a Conservative. The great thing about our Constitution is that it clearly states that we all have the Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. If wearing a dress and fingernail polish enables Bruce Jenner to finally be truly happy, then that is his Right. And good for him.
Real Constitutional Conservatives, although they may not all agree with his choices on their own personal level, they will most certainly support Jenner and his God-given right to FREEDOM.