The Courage to Be Who We Are

Speak Up

“The oppressed must realize that they are fighting not merely for freedom from hunger, but for . . . freedom to create and to construct, to wonder and to venture.”          Paolo Freire

I have been so moved these past few weeks by the extraordinary interview Diane Sawyer conducted with Bruce Jenner last month. And not so much for her expertise as a superb interviewer, but with Jenner’s profound courage to present herself to the general public as she truly is—a woman—and even more importantly, “a person.” She could easily have quietly hid herself from our purveyance, but she chose not to do that. Instead, she opened herself up to scrutiny while at the same time to her vulnerability and transparency as a human being in search for her true Self. Whatever one’s experience or opinion regarding transgender issues, no one can argue Bruce Jenner’s eloquent and emotional description of her years hiding from her true self so as to protect not only herself, but more importantly her children, from societal judgment, ridicule, and oppression. Yet, now with the blessing of her entire family she has taken what some may call the higher road—the road of truth and authenticity.

What is so remarkable is how her stance has reached out not only to the general public but to those among us who are transgender. In her they have found not only a spokesperson but a heroine as well. And for we who are not transgender, access to understanding the hopes, thoughts, feelings and experiences of our brothers and sisters who only ask to be accepted for who they truly are. Kudos to you, Bruce Jenner! You are truly an Olympian of the heart!! And the quintessential example of one who understands the expressive power of the voice!!!