What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
When I was a kid, in terms of sports, Bruce Jenner was “the man” (pun completely intended). Winning the gold medal in Decathlon at the 1976 Olympic games made him a celebrity of the highest magnitude in America. His fame transcended Olympic glory; Jenner went from the medal platform in Montreal to the stages of Studio City, with a stop on the Wheaties box in between.
Today, Jenner wants to be called “Caitlyn.” If you’re under 30 years old, you likely have no idea who Bruce Jenner was before he decided to be the world’s most famous drag queen. For the longest time, I kept wondering what was the non-bullshit reason behind such a transition. Then it dawned on me; the key wasn’t in Jenner’s elaborate televised game of “dress-up,” but it certainly came from the world of the small screen.
Again if you’re under 30, you only know the Bruce Jenner who is pretending to be a woman. But if you’re over 40, you just might remember the godawful made-for-TV movie “Grambling’s White Tiger.” This was when Bruce Jenner first learned about trying blurring unblurrable lines by playing a guy trying to be a white quarterback on a football team at an all-black school.
Another thing you might remember if you’re over 40 is the bit of TV awfulness known as the “The ABC After School Special.” In short, these were extended-play public service announcements dressed up as quasi-documentaries or dramatizations designed to discuss controversial subjects like illiteracy, substance abuse, and teenage pregnancy with children and teenagers. Honestly, the only thing stopping “Grambling’s White Tiger” from being an After School Special on racism is the fact it aired at 8 p.m.
Based on the true story of a man named Jim Gregory, “Grambling’s White Tiger” is all about a white guy who wants to play football at an all-black school. Naturally, we get a lot of television-style racism; a melange of the usual perceptions and stereotypes which always fall somewhat short of reality.
This movie skirts it’s way around some truths that aren’t helpful to the story, not the least of which is that Grambling isn’t really an “all-black” college; it’s actually a state university open to the public, and can’t deny entrance to any resident of the state of Louisiana. That’s important, because as you watch this movie, the first question is “Why the fuck is this white guy at this school?”
Then it hit me. If the pesky presence of a penis and testicles meant Bruce Jenner spent years not knowing he was actually a woman, then why can’t having Wonder Bread-white skin hide the fact he’s black? The fact it makes sense if you think about it proves how culturally fucked up we are in this country.
It works like this. Suppose Bruce Jenner gets to Grambling not knowing he’s actually black. Being on the football team at an “all-black” school, it stands to reason one would be surrounded by a lot of black people, and in such an environment, it also be safe to assume that would be the perfect environment where one’s hidden “black-ness” would crack through it’s white eggshell. Now if that’s true, suppose Bruce Jenner hits the 1990’s knowing he’s black and noticing that black guys do some seriously feminine things. I think it all started when Tupac Shakur started wearing shit on his head whicht made him look like Hattie McDaniel in “Gone With The Wind.”
Because he decided to be a bullet-stopper, we’ll never know if Tupac knew anything about birthing babies, but now we know how the Bruce “Call me Caitlyn” thing got it’s start. If you doubt that, take a look at this picture.
I don’t know about you, but when I see earrings, a headband, and a ponytail…sorry, that’s a “chick” look. Don’t even try to tell me the scruffy little chin-beard means that is a man; it could just as easily be a Romanian woman. Not to mention, how many black guys have chick-sounding names like “Dominique” or “Delontra.”
Given all that, here’s what I think happened. One day maybe ten or so years ago, Bruce was playing with his hair trying decide what to do with it as black men and white women are wont to do, he looked into the mirror, and the “Eureka!” moment happened. Jenner realized he’s both a black guy and a white woman trapped in a white guy’s body. Don’t even try to tell me that’s not possible. In a culture where we’ve decided gender identity is like the 31 flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream, any bullshit about how nobody can have a multi-scoop cone simply isn’t going to fly with me.
Flash the clock forward to the dark days of Obama’s second term, when suddenly being a straight white guy in America was accorded the same status as guys who got dates with ropes at Nuremberg. Obviously, Bruce had to make a decision.
He sure as shit couldn’t stay straight, white “Bruce,” especially not if he wanted to continue a career in the entertainment industry. He really wouldn’t want to become “Dominique;” that just ups his odds of ending up with a identification number from the Department of Corrections. So, he went the “Lou Reed” route; shaved his legs and then he was a “Caitlyn.”
Dubsism…where we’re not afraid to “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.” You’re welcome.