Our favorite dancing talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres, recently invited Caitlyn Jenner to her show and took the opportunity to ask her some questions that many of us may have been asking. One of the most common questions in Jenner’s life right now is the inevitable question of sexual orientation. Is there even a way to officially determine whether a transgender woman is homosexual or heterosexual if she dates a woman that identifies as a woman? Or if a transgender woman is homosexual or heterosexual if she dates a man?
This was DeGeneres’ primary question, and Jenner responded by explaining that she is not so much concerned with dating at the moment as she is with adjusting to her new life as a transgender woman.
Jenner has given this response several times and further explained that she is at the age where she no longer has to worry about creating a family, therefore allowing her a little more freedom than younger transgender people, but that she is not certain yet which gender she would prefer in the context of dating. She even made the comical statement, “I already have too many children!”
This discussion led to the connection that Jenner is a conservative Republican and has always valued tradition. DeGeneres requested that Jenner elaborate. Jenner explained that when gay marriage initially became a serious topic, as Bruce he was not for it, and that currently, as Caitlyn, she is “okay with it,” but only in the sense that she would never want to get in the way of someone’s happiness and rights.
Jenner continued to talk about how she does not understand homosexuality, but that she has always been a traditionalist and has always viewed marriage as between a man and a woman.
DeGeneres has since been on “The Howard Stern Show” and filled him in on how she feels about Jenner’s opinion.
DeGeneres told Stern that she herself does not understand the idea of transgender, the same as Jenner doesn’t understand the idea of homosexuality, and stated, “I’m trying to understand it, because I don’t fully understand it, either, but I also want everybody to be happy.”
Stern agreed, adding, “Here’s a person on TV crying, ‘Hey, I want to be myself, I want to be genuine—I don’t want people to ridicule me,’ and then says in the same breath, ‘Gee, gay marriage, I don’t get it,’ it’s remarkable.”
When Stern asked DeGeneres if Jenner danced with her, as the majority of her guests do, she replied,
“No, she didn’t dance—I don’t think she’s a dancer. And maybe she didn’t want to dance with me because I’m a lesbian.”
DeGeneres supports the transgender community 100 percent because equality is equality, and “we want the same thing everybody wants,” referring to happiness, rights, marriage and respect.
The underlying issue that is relevant here is that DeGeneres believes that since she, as a married lesbian, supports and respects the transgender community, shouldn’t the transgender community also support her and the LGBT community?
I am a fan of both DeGeneres and Jenner, so I have a few points of my own. Maybe Jenner is unsupportive, or even hypocritical about gay couples and marriage, when she is in a similar boat.
However, Jenner just wants to be left alone about her dating life—or perfectly happy lack of one. DeGeneres just feels offended by the way Jenner feels about gay marriage. But I believe that these feelings are perfectly acceptable.
It is perfectly acceptable for you to not understand why someone would be different, because we are all humans, and humans have the tendency to be different as well as the need to understand why.
People are people, equality is equality and we should all respect each other and each other’s right to happiness, whether we understand why one person is different from us or wants something different than us or not.