This past Saturday afternoon superstar and world renowned actress Bette Midler thought it would be funny in some way to casually joke about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from Bruce to Caitlyn after it was announced that “I am Cait” was being canceled after only two seasons. It was only after almost a full day and backlash from the LGBTI community did Midler apologize. Even in the apology there seemed to be a sense of ‘oh well I guess I am sorry’ attitude. One could almost say it was insincere but, at least there was an apology. This isn’t just about some fading star’s mediocre apology. No, there is so much more here than a wayward joke at a people who choose to be brave enough to live out and proud.
DEAR FRIENDS @HRC, WHOM I HAVE ALWAYS SUPPORTED. SORRY LAST TWEET OFFENDED. AN IDLE MUSING. I SEEM TO HAVE MISREAD THE TEMPER OF THE TIMES.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) August 21, 2016
It is no mystery or secret that transgender men and women are daily targets of discrimination, acts of violence and hate crimes. The fact that someone like Midler who has over a million followers on Twitter failed to grasp the “temper of the times” is baffling.
Unless you live in a cave which I am sure Midler does not you’d be hard pressed to be unaware of the fight transgender men and women have had to struggle through for equal rights in this country. The struggles are real for transgender men and women in this country. We aren’t allowed to use the bathroom like any other normal person in this country in many states. There is legislation on the books that allows open discrimination towards us in and out of the workplace. There are teenagers in every corner of this country and this world who look for hope from any place they can find it. Many times that comes from the entertainers and musicians who sing of hope, love and equality for all. Every single word of hope or despair that pours from the lips of those in the spotlight can help make or break a young transgender woman or man. Many who identify as transgender know the depths of the darkness of depression, rejection and near hopelessness. It goes without saying that how much encouraging no matter from where or who it comes from can be the ray of light that can help lead someone out of the darkness. Sounds dramatic right? That’s exactly how it is from some of us who are fighting what seems an uphill battle for acceptance, love and inclusion. Whether you Bette Midler famous or just a regular Joe or Jane please think about what you’re saying. Every. Word. Matters.