It’s been all but officially confirmed that Bruce Jenner is transitioning from a man to a woman. It’s also been all but officially confirmed that a camera crew is documenting the transition for an upcoming reality series. There hasn’t yet been an actual, on-the-books, official announcement from Jenner, but, in addition to the comments Jenner’s mother made, there’s the fact–as TMZ has reported–that the Kardashian crew has canceled all press and publicity for the upcoming season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The prevailing logic there is that they don’t want to talk about the transition before it comes out on the premiere of the show, and thus spoil the scoop they’ve (more or less) got for themselves. (Also that Jenner’s show would debut in May, following the end of Keeping Up‘s season).
It’s that last part that’s raising a stink in the greater transgender community. Asks Zoey Tur, Los Angeles-based transgender rights advocate: “How much money do you need?” Tur’s argument is Jenner has chosen to cash in on this journey, instead of using it to educate people about its complexities and ambiguities. “This is a civil rights battle,” says Tur; “this is not about selling TV shows.”
Tur went even farther in a recent CNN interview, saying that Jenner has a social responsibility to speak up:
Jenner is a public figure and has already transitioned publicly. You’re arguing that we should all close our eyes. If he wasn’t seeking attention why sell a reality show? Why be a Kardashian cast member? Why drive around WeHo in red stiletto heels and mini skirt? My dog Leica knows Jenner is trans!…She’s [Bruce Jenner] busy selling a reality show. I’m busy saving lives. There’s a big difference.
Season Ten of Keeping Up With the Kardashians premieres on February 8th–tomorrow night. Until we see how the show handles the issue, what do you think? Where is the right to privacy, and how much of a responsibility does Jenner have to say something about the transition?
(Photo credits: Splash Media)