Matt and I decided to watch the Bruce Jenner’s 20/20 interview with our sons. And, we’re so glad we did because it was really great, respectful and educational. We didn’t make a big announcement; we just turned on the television while they were in the room, like we often do.
C.J. sat on the floor playing Lego Elves; Chase was in our over-sized chair playing his Nintendo 3DS. Born into a generation of multitaskers, they were each doing their own thing while listening to our thing.
“Is he transgender?” they both asked as the show got underway.
“We don’t know. Maybe he’ll tell us now,” I said.
As Matt and I watched, the boys gave half of their attention to Bruce and half to themselves.
During the interview, ABC showed a Saturday Night Live clip poking fun at Bruce’s gender expression.
“Awww, that wasn’t nice!” Chase said, not looking up from his game.
When Bruce’s sister was interviewed, she said she cried after Bruce first told her about his gender struggle. She said she didn’t understand at first.
“Well you should understand it! It’s your brother! It’s your family!” C.J. yelled at the TV.
“Sometimes people don’t understand, even family members and friends,” Matt explained.
Diane Sawyer and Bruce both said that Bruce will emerge as “Her” – expressing more or entirely as female — when the time feels right.
“I can’t wait to see her!” C.J. exclaimed giddily.
“Yeah, why is he not a girl yet?” C.J. asked impatiently.
“Because he’s taking his time,” Matt says.
When the interview was almost over, C.J. looked up from his LEGOS and said very seriously…
“I’m going to be a boy my whole life.”
“Okay,” Matt and I said in unison.
“But, you know if doesn’t matter to us if you are a boy or a girl. That we love you no matter what,” I said.
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” he mumbled.
Our unconditional, nonjudgmental, totally supportive love bores C.J. now. But, at least he knows it’s there for him.
When the interview was over we paused the TV.
“What are your final thoughts on that?” I asked both of the boys.
“I wish he didn’t have to wait to transition until he’s so old,” Chase said.
“I want a snack,” C.J. said.
And, with that, out teaching moment came to an end.