Bruce Jenner's transition to womanhood has captivated the public.
And with all the attention comes the inevitable haters.
Zoey Tur, a transgender TV reporter, recently blasted Bruce, claiming the Olympian is in it for the ratings and money instead of being a voice for the trans community. However, we spoke to two prominent transgender stars who disagree, and even praised Bruce for making the journey public.
Dr. Marci Bowers, a transgender woman who performs gender reassignment surgery, supports Bruce and feels some of the media treatment has been unfairly harsh (see PerezHilton.com's position on covering Bruce's transition):
"So many of the photos have been as harsh and as unflattering as possible, it seems to me. It is challenging to transition at any age, let alone age 65. If you put a camera on Barbara Walters or Cher or any other older person, the results might not always be so pretty either. And, sadly, women are judged by their appearance far moreso than men … People may feel a certain way, as I'm sure Bruce did, for many, many years, trying to comply with societal or familial expectations, only to live in misery all those years before finally gaining the courage to move forward as he has done."
Dr. Bowers praises Bruce's for standing in the spotlight:
"This is where Bruce is being smart, taking ownership of the story to give it his personal spin and controlling the narrative somewhat. I think he (and soon, she!) is going to be in an amazing position to educate many people about what it is to make a gender transition and what it is like as a transgender person. It will be difficult for him to gain any degree of anonymity, unfortunately, but i do think we will get to see a positive side of him and a happier Bruce, perhaps, than we saw previously. I am hopeful that people will realize that Bruce has struggled with this feeling for many years before acting and that he is not acting impulsively or under estrogen influence or any of the other half-baked ignorant theories I have heard put forth."
B. Scott, a transgender TV personality and blogger, agrees:
"If Bruce does intend to share his story, whether it be a docuseries or by any other means, I think it'll be an excellent opportunity to create dialogue and have an open and honest conversation about gender identity and gender expression."
"Transitioning is a very personal journey. At the end of the day, only Bruce himself can and should declare his gender identity. Until we hear from Bruce's own mouth exactly what's going on, we should all respect his process."
[ Related: Patricia Arquette Supports Bruce Jenner ]
Dr. Bowers says respect is key for Bruce's family, too:
Gender transition is toughest on those around you. My advice to Bruce is exactly that: those closest to him are going to struggle and it will take awhile. But I do think his family will come around, everyone at their own pace. i even have hopes for Kris, for whom it is likely to be the most difficult. As for the family, my best advice is to relax! Gender is one of those goofy, odd social constructs that get in the way of everything. Gender is fun but it also shackles people to roles and expectations that are unhealthy at best. Laugh! Nothing like humor to disarm the most hardened of attitudes. Love! Remember, the person who is making this amazing journey is someone you used to love and respect. A gender change should not change any of those feelings of warmth and admiration. And finally, the best thing about a public family holding a secret like this is, there are no secrets to hold! We are going to know everything so there is really nothing to be ashamed of.
Bruce's journey will certainly be an interesting, one filled with haters and supporters! Hopefully more of the latter!
[Image via Getty Images.]
Tags: bruce jenner, exclusives!, transgender