June 03, 2015
In the two days since Vanity Fair previewed its July 2015 cover story featuring the transition of former Olympian Bruce Jenner into former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, reactions on the Internet have been swift and revealing.
Celebrities of all stripes have come out in support of Jenner and the importance of her story being shared so publicly. Other reactions have exposed how viewpoints on transgender identity frequently resort to certain divisive, sexualized instincts already present elsewhere in our culture. As PhillyMag pointed out yesterday, some commentary showed a tendency to objectify Jenner instantly before regarding her status as a person, even if Vanity Fair's cover photo seemed to invite such a response.
Former NBA star and outspoken 90s icon Dennis Rodman weighed in during an interview with TMZ sports on Monday, managing to both draw a line and cross it in typical Rodman fashion. While he openly states he would like to go on a date with Jenner, he also points out that his behavior during the 90s, which included crossdressing, was often viewed as a stunt rather than a facet of his identity. He told TMZ Jenner wouldn't have been able to do then what Jenner's doing now.
Because Jenner's transition is so visible, some of the response it has drawn immediately risks overshadowing the reality faced by the vast majority of transgender men and women in the United States, according to a report from CNN.
The full article by Philadelphia native Buzz Bissinger will be available on newsstands June 9. On Monday, Bissinger joined Angelo Cataldo and the 94WIP Morning Show to discuss the piece, saying he believed Jenner's sex change was "completely genuine" while dismissing the idea that the financial aspect should take away from its significance. Bissinger suggested that Rodman's point held true in the 1980s, a time when Jenner might have considered transitioning at an earlier point.
"Do it in the eighties? Forget it," Bissinger said, via CBS Philly. "There would have been no way. There would have been absolutely no way he could have done it in the eighties."