09 May 2011

Becoming Chaz

Tomorrow night, Becoming Chaz will air on OWN.  I probably won't see it, as I don't have cable TV and, in any event, don't watch much TV.  

Even if I had cable or dropped in on a friend who has it, I'm not sure I'd want to watch Becoming Chaz, anyway.  To tell you the truth, I haven't been terribly interested in the story.  

Had he not been born to such famous parents, he would not be any different from other transgender people who have undergone gender transitions.  And, had he not been on screen, in front of millions of people, on his parents' show--back when he was a girl, named Chastity, in frilly dresses and Mary Janes--we probably never would have heard of him.

That is not to say, of course, that I don't care about what happens to Chaz.  Because I understand, at least more than most other people can, what he is experiencing and has experienced, I wish only the best for him.  And I do understand how he feels when he talks about some of the difficulties he's had with people, including some of the ones who were closest to him.

And I can even understand why his mother--Cher, a gay icon--has difficulty with her transition.  My mother has been as about as supportive as anyone can be, or can be expected to be, in my transition and new life.  Yet I know that it has not been easy for her.  After all, she has known me longer than anyone else in this world--and she knew me as Nick, her son, for longer than anyone else ever had, or ever will.  

Plus, she realizes that some relatives of ours, most of whom are long gone, would not have been happy, to say the least, over what I've done.  At least they, as we knew them, would not have been happy.   However, people do change.  Some do, anyway.  Would they have changed?  No one can say for sure, but I know that at least a couple probably wouldn't have.  Then again, the people who change aren't always the ones we expect.   I'm sure Chaz has noticed that by now.

So, while very little about the show would be news to me, Becoming Chaz might be useful and enlightening for other people.  And, I suppose, seeing such a famous person--even if he is indeed famous mainly because of his parents--having undergone a gender transition will probably cause some people to pay more attention to what we say about ourselves, and to perhaps revise their thinking about who and what we are.  So, in that sense, Becoming Chaz is probably a good thing.

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