How Caitlyn (Formerly Bruce) Jenner Just Changed Culture Forever

LGBTQ Activism
Equality activist Ash Beckham spoke to Big Think about Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner and why having a high-profile transgender person share their story is an important milestone for the LGBTQ movement. "Transgender is almost the last of the LGBTQ spectrum that people don’t understand," says Beckham. Having Jenner in the spotlight allows the public a visible point of reference. (Note: This interview was conducted prior to Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner, which explains the use of "Bruce" and the masculine pronouns.)
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TRANSCRIPT

(Note: This interview was conducted prior to Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner, which explains the use of "Bruce" and the masculine pronouns.)

Ash Beckham: Bruce Jenner* is such a unique circumstance and situation and his coming out is a high point in the transgender movement currently. Because to have somebody that high-profile be willing to share in that way and transgender is almost the last of the LGBTQ spectrum that people don’t understand.

You know, if you’re a Yankees fan and you have your Yankees jersey, the thought of having to wear — it being socially acceptable that the only thing that you could wear was a Red Sox jersey. It would just make your skin crawl. 

And then to think about feeling like that every single day. Or if you are secure in your gender identity imagine if you had the opposite genitalia and what that would feel like. I mean to me there are these — when it becomes personal and we go to these feelings of what does your body do when you imagine these things, then I think we can begin to relate on another level. So I think for Bruce to make that decision and do that and do it so publicly and take the questions and, like we said, be kind of the 101 version of that, it gives us all a point of reference. You love him or you have an opinion about him or you don’t. But it doesn’t change because he’s transgender.