Last week, Caitlyn Jenner won an award. Now, as generally happens when a member of the LGBT community is given any attention, people are freaking out.
The award was Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year Award. Now, it could be argued that there were women who accomplished more this year, but in a group of honorees that included Reese Witherspoon and Victoria Beckham, Jenner does stand out and she is a role model for transgender people — who are just beginning to fight for their own civil rights.
Still, we are far from full acceptance of transgender people and the reaction of one previous award winner proved it.
James Smith’s wife Moira was a New York City police officer who sacrificed her life on 9/11. There is no doubt that she deserved to win that award after 9/11, albeit posthumously. James, though, did not want to share the exclusive club membership with a transgender woman, so he took he told Glamour, in no uncertain terms, that they can have the award back.
He wrote to them:
I was shocked and saddened to learn that Glamour has just named Bruce Jenner ‘Woman of the Year,’ ” Smith wrote in his scathing missive, calling the former Olympic track star and Kardashian reality-show patriarch “Bruce Ball-less Jenner.”
“Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?” Smith wrote. “At a time when we have women in the armed forces fighting and dying for our country, heroic doctors fighting deadly diseases, women police and firefighters putting their lives on the line for total strangers, brave women overcoming life threatening diseases . . . the list of possibilities goes on . . . is this the best you could do?
No one is denying that Moira Smith was heroic, nor are they denying that there are many heroes in the armed forces, but heroes come from all walks of life and come in all professions. Yes, at this point Caitlyn Jenner is a reality star, who is better known these days for being transgender than for being an Olympic gold medalist, but I can guarantee you that a former macho man turned woman plays a very heroic figure for transgender teens who may be struggling.
Glamour, thankfully, is not backing down. Their statement to Smith was:
We were proud to honor his wife . . . in 2001, and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner,” a Glamour spokeswoman said on Saturday. “Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards recognize women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
Featured image via Flickr.