Thank You, MTV, For Treating Bruce Jenner Like a Human

A few weeks ago, Care2 member Julie Mastrine called out InTouch weekly for their insensitive and offensive coverage of former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner. The magazine’s cover portrayed Jenner photoshopped on top of another woman’s body with added makeup under the headline “My Life as a Woman.” The thing is, Jenner has yet to come out as transgender.

Unfortunately, many media outlets have reported on Jenner in a similarly insensitive and offensive manner.

MTV is one of the few outlets that has chosen to respect Jenner’s private life. In their recent article ”What Are The Rules For Talking About Bruce Jenner?” Caitlin Abber explains:

“MTV News hasn’t written about the Bruce Jenner story because other than some speculation, Bruce Jenner has not publicly confirmed or denied the gender identity rumors, and therefore, out of respect, we’ve left the whole thing alone. It’s not our story to tell, and we’re firm believers that gossiping about very personal issues often does more harm than good… But now it seems like we’ve reached a point of mass chatter, and we need to say something.”

The article goes on to quote Nick Adams, a transgender staff member at GLAAD:

“On a daily basis, transgender people face unwelcome and often hostile scrutiny at school, at work, or even when just walking down the street … Creating an atmosphere in which people who may or may not be transgender are stalked and hounded sends a poisonous message that being transgender is something strange and shameful, a dirty secret to be uncovered. Real transgender people are harmed by this behavior.”

The crux of trans* rights

“The crux of trans* rights is personal choice and self-determination. Society’s inability to accept that gender is a complex, personal issue fuels this type of media bullying,” says Care2 petition author Julie Mastrine.

People like Julie Mastrine believe the media can do more to create a better environment for the trans* community.

“I started this Care2 petition because I want to create a better world for transgender individuals, and I believe that really starts with accurate media representation, which we are not seeing in the reporting surrounding Bruce Jenner,” Julie said about her petition asking InTouch magazine to apologize to Jenner. “The fight for transgender rights starts with how we talk about transgender issues in the public sphere — primarily, in the media.”

Thankfully, Julie’s petition caught the attention of numerous outlets including Access Hollywood.

With this petition, Julie hopes to bring accountability to how the media reports on trans* issues. Not just that, but allowing people to have their privacy during a time that is very important and very personal to them. It is important to also remember Jenner has not publicly commented on this media speculation and how he views his own gender. This is yet another example of how the media is invading celebrities’ private and personal lives.

“The Care2 petition is a way for us to assert that society needs to stop speculating about other people’s gender and just let them live their lives and make that decision for themselves,” Julie said. “The crux of trans* rights is personal choice and self-determination. Society’s inability to accept that gender is a complex, personal issue fuels this type of media bullying.

“Media representation is a great place to start creating a world where trans identities are respected,” she said. “If InTouch really wants to put a trans* individual on their cover, put an actual trans* actor or actress on the cover, like Laverne Cox. Don’t try to make someone into something they’re not.”

Kudos to MTV and Julie Mastrine for taking a stand against a transphobic culture. Let’s hope other media outlets can learn from their examples and do the same.

See an injustice in your community? Considering starting a petition and getting help from Care2′s online community.

159 comments

Magdalena J.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you!

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Vicky P.
Vicky P2 years ago

thanks

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Angela K.
Angela K2 years ago

Thank you

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Valerie A.
Valerie A2 years ago

thanks

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Heather T.
Heather T2 years ago

Yes thanks! E is acting horrible.

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LMj Sick Sunshine
James Merit2 years ago

Thank you.

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LMj Sick Sunshine
James Merit2 years ago

Thank you.

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Alison A.
Alison A2 years ago

Thanks for posting.

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Jennifer LeBorgne

I think some people need to start remembering some of the things we were all taught as children, like to treat others how you would like to be treated...

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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