Monday, 15 June 2015

An Open Letter to Caitlyn Jenner


Dear Caitlyn,
Words cannot express how much you have stunned the world and Africa. But then, I am a fan of audacity so I will tell you just a bit.
A fraction of Africa thinks you most unreasonable for flashing your sex-change in our face. They also toss some rage at your family for unjustifiably hugging all that media attention. We make crazy statements about your ex-wife and how wrong those who support you are.
You have heard, read and seen these statements. You are not burnt and this fascinates me.
Now these are what I think of this:
Absolutely no one, besides you, was Bruce Jenner the first time you ran around in victory with the flag of the United States of America glistening in your hand. You know the spice of applause. You have felt the warmth of validation. You know for a fact that victory begets validation and hardly ever the other way round.
I am a Christian, and I believe in the uniqueness of the human body, soul, mind and journey as it varies from individual to individual. I also believe in the infinite origins and extents of the Almighty God far beyond antique and evolved standards. There is hardly ever, I think, a general rule that applies generally. As a result, your journey is yours to traverse.
Nonetheless, I know the heat of an internal longing, the yearning to turn things around and the pain of boundaries.  I also know the peeve of the inapt and while peace that comes with the legitimate. Your measure of legitimacy, I think, should never be a cross that the world outside imposes on you, it should be a path that you and the Heaven within agree on together.
I love you, and I celebrate the beauty you are: powerful, sexy, fierce and interesting. You are a confirmation and license to so much, liberation to so many.
That you chose to share your journey with the world, for me, is the boldest statement that can be made on the subject. In spite of everything, it is your journey. And when you look in the mirror you have all the justification you need. You are an adult and your life decisions are not an interpersonal democracy until you permit it or when they interfere with the rights, freedom, and the sphere of independent stability of other persons.
I could go on to tell you about Robert Frost’s Road Not Taken, or Lord Denning’s Argument of  the Other Side, but your life, this step, is a far more precise sort of the evolution of guts. Always we see instructions that as humans we can only do so much. But every now and then we are reminded that humanity can rise from the passive status of a complacent community to being the capacity to continually improve capacity, results, relevance, existence and purpose. We have once more been reminded by you. And whoever disputes this had better walk away from elevators and smart phones.
We did not question the evolution when it said we could change the colour of our skin nor when it put images and light inside a box. We did not question it when it could look inside a person's body without tearing it up or when it could tear it up and put it back. We did not question it when it put the whole world- including us- inside a puny tablet. Now we say that it is evil because it preaches a change that we are yet to accept. Caitlyn, can you imagine?
Your legitimacy is your legitimacy- Romans 14:22.Holy Bible- between you and God Almighty, even as you fabulously strut and inspire me, as long you completely believe without the tiniest shadow of doubt, your heart never faulting it.
I was up a few nights ago reading Black and Gay in the UK, when I came across Diriye Osman’s piece titled ‘Feminity in Men is a Source of Power’. The whole piece was phenomenal. In the end he wrote something that struck a chord in my heart:
I glanced in the mirror and saw something I had never seen within myself before: a sense of poise, daring even….one who was bold, unafraid to take risks. I stood before the camera and gazed directly at the lens. There was no need for validation…I knew what I was doing.
I must confess that, initially, I was demystified that you were televising your transformation. And like all transgender cases, I am yet to fully appreciate and understand your journey. But now, I am thankful that you did it anyway. I still look forward to meeting a trans-person, becoming friends even- perhaps then I’ll understand better. I also wish you would consider writing about your transformation…your thoughts, pains, regrets, expectations…everything or at least most of it. I want more and I believe that with more information the rest of us may be unstrapped from our maligning single story.
Congratulations to you Caitlyn Jenner. You look all kinds of fabulous…what’s not to love?

Much love,
Nnanna