Bruce Jenner was once hailed a star Olympic Athlete is now dramatically transforming in front of our eyes into a woman.
1. He has very effectively commented on the internal conflict he has experienced most of this life. His presentation of himself brings out the psychological issues related to being a woman trapped in a man’s body.
2. He deserves a great deal of credit for coming forward. His story highlights the conflicts, issues, and feelings many have about who they are and where they are going in life with their person traits and characteristics.
3. Jenner emphasizes a personal conflict that is longstanding, lifelong. Some individuals are not able to effectively look at themselves and they use denial and repression to deal with their true feelings.
4. His story brings out the fact that being human is complex and it is important to be open minded, sensitive, and thoughtful in looking at anyone else. The personal internal conflicts, turmoil, and feelings some one else possesses is often not explained by simple minded thinking.
5. As a clinical/political psychologist I often say we all have different sides to our personality and all of us have sides that need a lot of work and attention. Not all sides of anyone’s personality are positive. Jenner emphasizes how serious and overwhelming certain sides of one’s personality can actually be and the magnitude of it all.
6. Hopefully the Jenner story will have more people think differently about gender and personality/psychological issues. Shallow minded thinking will not work in better understanding all of the issues we experience.
7. Jenner being a conservative is all together another issue. It relates to why people will identify, support, and vote for individuals who essentially despise them. It is an example of ideology trumping common sense or what might be rational thought. People on the extreme right say things every day about how despicable gays are and that they threaten traditional values. What some on the right think about Jenner is probably to harsh to actually describe, yet he is willing to support them because of his own ideological thought process. In my view as a political/clinical psychologist it is an example of an actual Thought Disorder.
By Dr. Bart Rossi