My friend and nationally syndicated radio talk show host Jerry Doyle tells the story of running for Congress in Hollywood as a Republican. The short version: it more or less cost him his career in TV, movies, and voice-over work in a city that is so rabidly intolerant of non-leftists that agents will sacrifice their ethics, their friendships — or at least what might have seemed like friendship — and even their own financial well-being rather than work with a conservative. (And Jerry isn’t even that conservative; he’s much more of a libertarian.)
In Hollywood these days, along with other bastions of liberal elitism, being L, G, B, or T is not just acceptable. It’s downright cool. Transgender actress Laverne Cox, best known for her role in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black (often called a “star” of the show even though her part is no more important than that of a dozen other members of the cast), was invited to Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner as a guest of the gay-oriented Washington Blade newspaper.
The evening before, as if to emphasize the coolness of the tiny fraction of the American population that is transgender, Cox’s new MTV show — she’s the executive producer — Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word (“about seven brave transgender youth”) won the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Special. If that doesn’t sound like an award created just to show how diverse and tolerant the television industry is…
Ms. Cox is on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people. She’s gone nude for Allure magazine, and has spent time with President Obama.
In other words, the LGBT movement — much like the feminist movement before it — has already won. In Hollywood, it hasn’t just won, but it no longer even has a loyal opposition.
So when it comes to revealing oneself as gay or, as Bruce Jenner did in a marathon interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Friday night, as identifying with the opposite gender from that which people have long known you, it takes a modicum of courage but there’s very little real risk of harm to reputation or employability, at least in television and film.
Yes, Bruce Jenner said to millions of people on national television, “for all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.” But the real display of bravery came when Sawyer played a clip of President Obama using the word “transgender” in a State of the Union speech, trying to get Jenner to praise the president, to which Jenner responded, “Not to get political, I’ve just never been a big fan; I’m kind of more on the conservative side.”
Now that took some balls.
Sawyer’s priceless reaction, asked with unmistakable incredulity: “Are you a Republican?”
Jenner’s retort was perfection, looking around the room mockingly the way one might when asked a question to which the answer is something you’d want kept very private (not that the stepfather of the famous-for-being-famous Kardashians has even a vague recollection of what privacy is), then saying — loud and proud — “Yeah! Is that a bad thing? I believe in the Constitution.”
Ms. Sawyer, embodying “the lady doth protest too much” and with a pained look on her Manhattan elitist face, replied, “No, no, no!” before wondering aloud whether Jenner’s transition from a man to a woman would be “an unsettling thing for some people in the conservative wing of the Republican Party.”
Risking an on-screen explosion of Diane Sawyer’s head, Jenner explained that he had a “feeling and a kind of a revelation that maybe this is my cause in life. This is why God put me on this earth — to deal with this issue.”
No doubt Ms. Sawyer is right that a few folks on the Christian right will disapprove of and perhaps even disparage Bruce Jenner’s journey toward living a life true to himself (or, as Jenner might soon say, herself). Although the 65-year-old Jenner took a few steps down this path in years past, the passage begins in earnest at long last with only perhaps a quarter of his life left. And there will be plenty of conservatives, Christian and otherwise, cheering him on — far more than doing the opposite.
The real disdain, even hatred, that Jenner will face is not from conservatives disapproving of his transition but from liberals scandalized by his daring to be anything other than one of them.
After all, doesn’t Jenner realize that they love him? Or at least they did when, in their identity-politics intellectual cage, he was a member in good standing of the LGBT victim class. But now that he’s a Republican, nothing else matters; he’s persona non grata because he doesn’t play the victim and doesn’t allow liberals to feel better about themselves by thinking he can’t get along without them.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, consider that the Left’s loudest voices aggressively assert their caring for African Americans. But only until the black man in question is Herman Cain or Clarence Thomas or even Bill Cosby, or the black woman in question is Condoleezza Rice or anyone who stands up for personal responsibility. The left loves and defends women, but only until the woman in question is Michele Bachmann or Michelle Malkin or Condoleezza Rice or anyone who opposes abortion or doesn’t buy into the myth of the 23 percent wage gap.
A black who doesn’t “blame society” isn’t really black; a woman who doesn’t share Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s view on abortion or equality isn’t really female. An L, G, B, or T who doesn’t feel oppressed has no use at all. Those who won’t play victim even though they can pose the biggest threat to modern liberalism’s divide-and-conquer strategy, which is why hell hath no fury like that turned by Democrats against a conservative woman, minority, or LGBT.
So it is not surprising that Jenner’s real “coming out” — as a Republican — provoked such wrath and confusion among liberal purveyors of tolerance and diversity on social media:
Bruce Jenner is too well known, too popular, and too publicly supported by his family, the famous and less-famous alike, to be at any real risk of losing work and income due to self-outing as a conservative Republican.
But one gets the sense that if he (or should I say she?) were treated as badly as my friend Jerry was for his political views, Bruce Jenner would be OK with it because his principles and his faith assure him that he is on a path that is good and true.
It’s a path that today’s liberals — whose quest for political dominance leaves them caring nothing for goodness or truth or authentic tolerance or any of the other laudable qualities embodied in the unusual personage of Bruce Jenner — never tread upon.
No, Bruce, it’s not a bad thing. None of it is.
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