From obscurity (known only to his family and close friends) to worldwide fame and recognition, George Jorgensen wrote to his parents “Nature made a mistake which I have had corrected, and now I am your daughter.” George was only 24 years old. After a successful sex change operation, he became Christine Jorgensen. Christine went on to live a celebrity life in Hollywood for the next 35 years. Christine died of cancer at the age of 62 in 1989. Christine must have been quite an inspiration for Bruce!
From George Jorgensen to Bruce Jenner the world has changed; it has become as easy as it is hard to gain worldwide recognition because of a sex change. A onetime Olympic gold medalist is a flash in a pan, so Bruce Jenner, armed with the knowledge and the determination (perhaps to outdo the Kardashians, perhaps to become the first man at his age to go through the procedure) had to cook up something big, really big. Something that would get everyone talking about Bruce, well the female Bruce.
What in the world could a 65-year old man possibly come up with to get the world’s attention? Running for President? Bruce is nowhere qualified to do a stunt like that. Learn break dancing moves? He probably would break all the bones that are not yet brittle. How about venture into rap music? Well, Bruce knew better. How about climbing the highest mountain? Bruce is afraid of height. I know, challenge Mike Tyson in a boxing match? Hmm! Hmm! There was really not much Bruce could possibly cook up to set social media on fire, so I thought. Then Bruce remembered (and researched) George Jorgensen turned Christine Jorgensen. That should definitely get the world’s attention. Bruce was right; a 65-year old man, “dying to be on the spotlight” had to think outside the box. For that, Bruce deserves the “hungry for spotlight” award; yes, it did take a lot of courage to do a stunt like that. Bruce has proven once again to himself (or herself and the world) he is still able to get a gold medal. Once Bruce settled on the sex transformation as a shocking revelation, a calculation that will later pay off, it was time to come up with a name. Bruce couldn’t possibly use Christine, it would be too obvious but he wanted to stay in par with the letter C; Caitlyn should do.
Caitlyn is certainly a beautiful name, and that’s where my appreciation for the story ends. I will not pretend to understand what it’s like to have a physical body of a man trapped in a woman’s mind, vice-versa (then you should shut up, I could hear many saying). I was never there; I am certain I will never cross that bridge. For Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner, the story is much, much different, and the lengthy article (28+ pages) in Vanity Fair magazine June 9, 2015 issue did nothing to appease my suspicion behind Bruce’s true motivations.
Having correctly pre-empted criticisms coming from all directions, Bruce or Caitlyn was quick to mention that he did not go through the sex change procedure for the sake of money or fame; righhhhhhhht! However, he or she added that he/she welcomes the money that will be pouring in for s/he still has to attend to his or her many financial obligations, righhhhhhhht! – Bruce’s net worth is over $100 million. – I am not against Bruce (or anybody) who would decide to have a sex change, whatever the motivation might be; your body is yours. You do what’s pleasing to you. That’s the end of the story. Well, that should have been the end of the story, right?
Bruce wouldn’t let it be the end of the story. If you’ve been paying attention, the sex transformation is to keep Bruce, now Caitlyn, in the spotlight. Imagine for just a second that the story was simply reported and the world moved on. Imagine that for a moment. If Bruce’s true intentions were to simply “make peace with himself” (which I doubt with all the fiber in my body), the 28+ page article in Vanity Fair magazine would have been the end of the story; Bruce would have simply retreated to live the rest of Caitlyn’s life in a normal fashion, like the rest of us. Instead, Caitlyn is doing everything possible to stay in the spotlight, documentaries coming up, interviews galore, movies, books, etc. are all in the menu.
It doesn’t matter how many times or how often Bruce (or Caitlyn) attempts to justify the sex change as a way to make peace with himself, the shallow justifications hide the true motivations neither Bruce nor Caitlyn would ever reveal to the world; after all, that would defeat the very point of the sex transformation. One would be naïve to think that Bruce was not aware his sex change would bring him instantaneous fame beyond his (or her) wildest wishes, even more so than his past Olympic championship (Bruce was an Olympic Gold Medalist in the decathlon at the Montreal Summer Olympic games of 1976.) While I am in no position to extract his true motivations (the folks at Vanity Fair were too busy riding their own fame along with the story, conveniently forgot to address that aspect of Bruce’s secret wishes) it is highly suspicious that someone who felt so much different from who or what he was, went about his life going through a first marriage (had four sons), a second marriage (had two daughters) and figured out almost at the end of his life that “I feel that I was lying to myself.” I do not believe Bruce was lying then; Bruce or Caitlyn is now lying to the world. Lost in the shadow of the Kardashians’ fame perhaps, Bruce who may have flirted with the idea, researched it and discovered that George Jorgensen, the first man who had a sex change, had a successful career in Hollywood as a female for well over 30 years following his sex operation. Bruce may have glossed over the fact that George was only 24 when he went through the procedure.
Obviously, the story of Bruce Jenner is not unique, and Bruce is not the pioneer in the spectacular, headline grabbing, shocking sex change announcement. Well before Bruce conceived the idea of a sex transformation, in 1952 former Army Pvt. George Jorgensen returned from Denmark as Christine Jorgensen. It was the best kept secret prior to the sex operation; not even George’s parents knew he was going through the procedure. Worldwide coverage of the story exposed George Jorgensen as the first (and successful) sex change phenomenon; it was immediate sensation, instantaneous fame. It was not local; it was not national; it was worldwide. Bruce was hungry for fame. Only a sex change could achieve that kind of fame for Bruce at that age. Stay tuned for the fallout. In the meantime,
Call him Caitlyn and call it a day!