The Bruce Jenner Outrage

By Shan Shariff | @1053SS

105.3 THE FAN — It’s 11 a.m. on April 27, 2015. We just finished our Monday morning show where we recapped and discussed the Bruce Jenner transgender interview from Friday night with Diane Sawyer.

As I sit here, I’m still stunned over the anger, disgust and intolerance we received through texts and emails for discussing the topic:

“This is gross!!”
“I thought this was a sports station!!!”
“He’s a freak who should’ve just offed himself!”

1) I can’t completely disagree.
2) At one point, Bruce Jenner was the most dominant athlete IN THE WORLD.
3) That ignorance is exactly why this issue should be explored.

I’ll be completely honest. I was expecting the Jenner interview to deliver nothing more than jokes and funny material for today’s show. Between cross-dressing, shaving Adam’s apples and growing breasts — yeah, it got weird. But it was also educational. Many of us roll our eyes at Michael Sam because coming out of the closet is no longer breaking news. This is different. This is a growing issue that has caused shame, suicides and rejection from both society and family members.

Before I go on, I want to ask a few questions for those of you irritated over this subject:

Why do you care??
It’s none of your business what Bruce Jenner wants to do with his genitals. It doesn’t affect your day-to-day life in any way. It doesn’t cause you to lose sleep or not eat. It doesn’t change your religious beliefs or what you choose to teach your children.

Why don’t you just ignore it?
You don’t want to hear about it? Don’t watch the interview. Don’t listen to us recap it after the tease. Nothing is being forced on your eyes and ears. I don’t enjoy snakes swallowing rodents, so I stay away from Animal Planet. I don’t get a high from heads being chopped off, so I don’t watch “The Walking Dead.” Try dodging instead of hating.

Who gives you the right to judge Bruce Jenner or anyone else like him?
I know this will get me in trouble, but I’m going to drop the “c” word on you anyway. In my opinion, what Jenner is going through isn’t a CHOICE. It’s something that has confused and tormented him for 65 years. He’s hidden from who he really wanted to be because of reactions like the ones from today’s show. He finally had enough, and I respect his stones (no pun intended) for doing so.

Is he doing it for his next reality show? Maybe.
Are the Kardashians attention whores? Absolutely.
Would I want my child to be transgender? No.

None of that is going to make me feel embarrassed to learn about a subject I was completely ignorant about.

(Data from ABC Jenner story)
— There are 700,000 transgender Americans.
— 45% of 16-25 yr olds dealing with transgender issues attempt suicide when untreated.
— 87% of Americans know someone who’s gay. Only 8% know someone who’s transgender.
— Jenner wanted to kill himself after he thought the media discovered his secret.
— He wore his sister’s clothing as a child and was caught wearing a dress as an adult by his wife and daughters.
— He’s still attracted to women.

Sorry, I find that story interesting. Record ratings on television and social media prove the rest of the country was interested too. In the world of sports talk radio, we are beer-drinking, women gawking, prehistoric burping cavemen 364 days out of the year. GOD FORBID we take one day or one HOUR to educate ourselves on something that doesn’t involve a ball or bikini.

It took Bruce Jenner over six decades to feel free and live the life he wants to live. He seems happy, relieved and content — but that doesn’t matter to those who are “normal.”

Raising awareness and preventing suicide doesn’t matter because Jenner makes us uncomfortable. This entire discussion is about “a gross freak who doesn’t belong on a sports station!!!”

Bruce Jenner isn’t the problem. The real problem is your intolerance.

Forget about the Kardashians. That’s the saddest reality of all.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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