Thank You, Bruce Jenner

I love you. You are a beautiful and brave human being. You are an inspiration. You are doing the most radical thing any human being can do. You are standing up for freedom and equality, standing up for what it means to be human, simply by being yourself.

Being yourself! It’s actually the most authentic form of activism. In fact, it’s the most radical thing that any of us can do. It often seems that almost everything in life militates against any human being who is true and authentic.

The world crushes the good and the true. It crushes authenticity. It crushes humanity. We must all stand up against anyone and anything that would deny our humanity and our truth. We must stand up against the forces of ignorance and hate. And we can all do this every single day, every single minute of our lives, simply by being ourselves just as Bruce Jenner and millions of other brave lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people are doing.

Let me say this to Bruce and all the brave LGBTQIA people in this world who are out and proud:

By coming out as who you are, you are not only standing up for yourselves and for all of the beautiful and brave LGBTQIA people in the world. You are also standing up for all of the people in this world who have open minds and good hearts. You are inviting all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation and gender identity, to come out and be who we are. You are inviting all of us to show the world that we have open minds and good hearts, and that we should confront and neutralize bigotry and hate.

When we conceal our true selves, when we conceal our humanity, we give the forces of hate the space to operate. We allow the haters to hate with impunity.

I call upon all people of good will to follow the courageous example of my hero, Bruce Jenner. Let’s all stand up today and come out as who we are. I know it’s frightening. I know it takes great courage. I know that by doing this we may well risk our own safety and security. I know that we may jeopardize our relationships with people who love us or at least people who think they love us. But we will give everyone the chance to love the human being that we really are, and we will give ourselves the chance to change the world.

I will do everything I can to follow Bruce Jenner’s brave and beautiful example. I will do everything I can in life to be myself, despite the risks. I call again upon everyone to do the same.

In closing, let me simply say, thank you, Bruce Jenner. Thank you for showing us the way. No hate can touch you because your love and your courage will prove to be an impenetrable shield. Your authenticity and your true humanity will protect and sustain you wherever you go on your journey.

Above all and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you, Bruce Jenner, for being you.

Relevant Reading: The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, by Joe Wenke

LGBTQI advocate Wenke speaks to some of the world’s leading change agents, which leads to a series of provocative personal and professional stories. One glowing reader review calls it an “utterly essential contribution to society.”

Bruce Jenner: Transgender American, The Atlantic, Diane Sawyer interview