"Call Me Caitlyn"
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 by Laramie Boyd
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        I'm really not sure how to put into words the way I feel about the massive media exposure of Caitlyn Jenner. In fact, I'm not sure how I feel about what they are "exposing." Do I object to all the press coverage about something so personal, truly an invasion of Caitlyn's privacy? Or do I disapprove of the act of changing one's sex persona, or if that can be done. I don't even know whether or not I think the whole scene is a ploy to gain some kind of attention requisite to getting a huge book contract and a huge agent's commission. Check out her 11 acre, 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath Malibu 360 degree ocean view hilltop home. Oh, it would be easy to go along with the many who are expounding the benefits to the closet transgenders and how the new freedom of "coming out" has been such a blessing. Maybe it's true that Caitlyn "has always known that she is-and always has been- a woman." Maybe she truly feels that she would have blown her "entire life" if she "had kept this secret" to the grave. I don't believe many non-transgenders have a feel for what that really means.
        On the other hand, there is the stance that a man-is-a-man-is-a-man, and if the good Lord had meant Bruce to call himself a woman, or really be a woman, He would have made that distinction known at birth. But whatever that designation is, it can't, or shouldn't, be fooled with. The conflicting theories about gay and lesbian people come to mind. Are they born with their sexual preferences, or are they acquired characteristics as a result of social experiences, parental influence, or maybe just a matter of a desire to stand out as different? Or maybe a financial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It's like the question "Is there life on other planets?" The same answer surfaces. Nobody knows, nobody knows.
        About all I do know about the whole scenario of sex alteration, if that's what we're talking about, is that there is no easy way to understand it. And many of us have unanswered questions. Is it possible, some might ask, that Caitlyn could now bear children, since she feels she has always been a woman? Women do bear children. Do transgenders from female to male then have the power of insemination? Can they have normal intercourse? Or does the whole dynamic of "changing" sex mean that only their appearance and some psychological manifestations are affected? Do we even need to know all the answers to the physical-change questions we have? I do know, like so many issues the media gets hold of, enough is enough. To see Caitlyn wearing a revealing garment while making suggestive poses, on the cover of a magazine, does nothing to make me more aware of the problems and hoped for solutions the transgenders face every day of their lives. It only raises more questions. My take is it's probably just the media taking advantage of a hot topic, again. I say back off press, and let Caitlyn be Caitlyn, whatever that may be. A lot of men just shake their head, in disbelief.
        When it's all said and done, I guess the hoopla over Caitlyn is just part of the ongoing tide of change in America's social structure and how the media covers it. Men marrying men, women with women, in some states marriage between close relatives is approved, and in Palm Desert CA, two dogs said their I do's. (Or was it their woof-woofs?) Children in elementary schools are given options as to which restroom they prefer, girls or boys, colleges have co-ed dorms. Where will it all end? But the sad part is how many people approve of most any change in previously accepted behavior, just because it's change, not because it's change for the better. It's just less restrictive. Values don't change, some people just redefine the words. I hope we all wish Caitlyn a better, more fulfilling, happier life. I do.