Recently supermarket tabloid InTouch Weekly featured Bruce Jenner, his face photoshopped with makeup and placed on the body of British actress Stephanie Beacham, breathlessly promising “11 Shocking Photos Inside!” The article cited unnamed sources who claimed that not only would Bruce be announcing his transexuality, but that he would also be appearing on the cover of LGBT news magazine The Advocate, in full regalia as his official coming out action. The Advocate vehemently denied this.
Whether Bruce Jenner is transgender or not, has been the subject of much speculation over the past year or so, and whether he is transitioning is really beside the point. For every two steps forward it seems like a step back is also in store. As promising as the future seems to be these days, there’s always going to be a (thankfully shrinking) backlash from the more reactionary corners of our society.
If there’s one silver lining to the InTouch Weekly fiasco, it’s the wide criticism their photoshopped cover and their characterization of his “shocking” transition received from the mainstream media. This includes the condemnation article in The Advocate and the less fire and brimstone, but nonetheless compelling criticism levelled at InTouch by Slate which probably stated it best when they said, “Compared to something like Laverne Cox’s triumphant Time (Magazine) cover of 2014, the Jenner bullying feels not only offensive, but also played-out, a relic of a time when trans people’s lives were widely considered a punch line. To say the cover is, ironically, out-of-touch is an understatement.”