I’ve been holding back for a while now and I must get this off my chest. I don’t like Caitlyn Jenner. Not one bit.
Caitlyn Jenner was not meant to be Caitlyn Jenner — and you know it, too.
Oh, I’m very much okay with Caitlyn Jenner the person. I’m very much okay with Caitlyn Jenner not being Bruce Jenner. And the switching out of pronouns. And that I get to be judgmental now about how well she plucks her brows. All of that.
What I’m not okay with is Caitlyn Jenner. The name “Caitlyn Jenner” is all wrong.
Okay, I admit to having a teeny-tiny chip on my shoulder when it comes to names. I’m getting older, you see, and I don’t much care for the way my name announces this fact. These days, my name feels like I’m shuffling around at a hip beach party in a boxy floral muumuu among a crowd wearing sleek mini-dresses. There is nothing about my name that sounds breezy or fresh or It. Also, I’m drinking a stupid Mai Tai.
This ol’ name that I lug around (a name that shall remain nameless here) effectively bookmarks me in a chapter called The Seventies. Yes, it is here that I arrived. Born on a Tuesday in December in the Age of Jennifer.
And Kim and Becky and Heather and Jennifer. And did I mention Jennifer?
Born to a Sharon, Linda, Donna, Jan.
Who was born to a Lois, Edith, Norma, Irene.
Who was born to an Ethel, Myrtle, Gertrude, Maude.
That is the cycle of life. This is our truth. And it’s what God damn well intended. Human beings were meant to have names that go in and (horribly) out of fashion and imprison us in our time. We cannot break free from this — doing so would disrupt our very fragile generational ecosystem. And then what next? 80 year-olds dressing in glittered tutus? Babies doing crossword puzzles? Teenagers complaining about taxes? It’s a slippery slope.
And what Jennifer or Becky or Kim didn’t want to be Caitlyn or Quinn or Mackenzie. But what’s a girl to do — change?!
So the reason I don’t like Caitlyn Jenner? It’s just not goddamn fair.
Caitlyn Jenner was born in 1949. Caitlyn Jenner is supposed to be Carol Jenner.
Or Bonnie Jenner. Or Judy Jenner. Caitlyn Jenner should have to accept the rumpled, faded, itchy-woolen, mothball-scented name she was meant to have — and just be happy with who she is.
In the meantime, call me Addison.