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Obsessed: Bruce Jenner and the Dichotomy of Gender Expression

02/09/2015 05:16 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Scrolling across my feed, a myriad of trending topics flash repugnantly, as they usually do. Today one caught my eye, one that made me wince. Low and behold, trending as usual: Bruce Jenner, only this time, the headline read: Bruce Jenner in horrible Crash -- One person dead. This struck me viscerally, beckoning my memory to an image of Princess Diana's street car. There are already rumors circulating that it was a "Paparazzi Chase" that caused the accident. Oh, how the press loves to talk about Jenner, I have yet to hear the end of it, I don't want to talk about it and now a person is dead. I guess now is as good a time to talk about this as any other.

We could start with the endless loads of speculative nonsense. Of course, traditional gender policing has to take place first, right? People had to try to deem Jenner male or female, gay or straight, and all based on appearances (because the world would explode if we couldn't label Jenner immediately.) When Time magazine stepped forward claiming Jenner's transition, I stewed in my chair. Was it their place to tell the world? Did it matter how legit the sources were?

Here's my personal opinion. When people were showing me photographs, did I think Jenner was transitioning? Hell yes I did. Was it my place to perpetuate that idea? Absolutely not. It's never anybody's place to out a trans person. It's never anybody's place to out a gay person. So why do we, as a society, continue to buy the tabloids that perpetuate the invalidating idea that gender expression is still something shocking? Why do we continue to sensationalize the everyday journey of the transgender person, and make it something other than normal? The dichotomy of gender expression is one that has been repackaged and rebranded over and over again throughout history, and it all boils down to one thing. Heteronormative thinking, or in other words, anything that isn't straight and cisgender is weird or worthy of a bad photoshopped cover story. Trans people are more than our narratives. We are living, breathing human beings, and Jenner is too.

The year is 2015. Today is a new day. When Jenner is ready to tell the world what's up, I'll be waiting. Until then, godspeed.

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