Bruce Jenner’s announcement that he is a woman: A celebrated moment, but not everyone’s story

Last Friday, Bruce Jenner appeared in a highly-anticipated segment on 20/20 in front of 17 million viewers — that’s 10 million more than the show’s average episode and its highest rating since the year 2000. Rumors have been flying for months about Jenner’s gender identity. But until he spoke with Diane Sawyer, there was no confirmation that he was indeed transgender and that at 65 years old he would be transitioning into a woman.

Today, Larry Flick invited recording artist, NYC nightlife personality and transgender woman Dina Delicious on OutQ to talk about Jenner’s announcement and where she feels it should be positioned in the conversation about the transgender community in the United States.

“I think a lot of people thought it was going to be some sort of train wreck but they got to see a person who we’ve all grown so familiar with, in such a different way. I think it was probably the most honest way I’ve seen him,” Dina told Flick, reflecting on how much she related to the emotions Jenner described before and after his decision.

“Everybody’s story is very different. His story is at 65 years old. Mine was at 17 … very, very different … but very similar … not wanting to hurt people because of who you are so you hold back. I felt like my transition would affect people and I would hurt my mother.”

But Dina did want to draw attention to the differences between Jenner’s experience and the majority of transgender Americans.

“He does say that ‘what I am doing is going to do some good.’ I think it will do some good. But it’s just one story from a very privileged man … and I think it’s really important that we realize as a community, as human beings … that it’s just one story and it’s one very special story. This is not the narrative of trans people. They do not have the opportunity for the best in medical care, for the best in mental care, for the best in hormone therapy, for the best in surgical procedures. He has that all available to him and he gets to transition in comfort.”

“Even though we’re in a time of a lot of visibility for trans people, it has not stopped all the suicides and the deaths that have occurred just this year alone. But this is a person who will have privilege in every way of transition that 99 percent of trans people don’t have,” Dina said.

OutQ wasn’t the only SiriusXM channel talking about Jenner’s announcement or the growing visibility for trans people in America. Ari Rabin-Havt discussed this unprecedented interview on his SiriusXM Progress show, specifically focusing on how it matters for greater acceptance of the transgender community.

“I really think it is one of those things we will be looking back on in 10 or 20 years as a moment where attitudes shifted,” Rabin-havt said. “Where something that was strange became normal. I really think this is one of those unique moments that we should celebrate.”

“I was completely snark-free,” Frank DeCaro added on his OutQ show. “I was totally moved by it.”

DeCaro and Doria Biddle took thoughtful calls from listeners about identity, orientation and how politics tie into Jenner’s story.

Some SiriusXM listeners felt the interview and topic hit close to home. Earl from Washington called into Get It Right with Margaret Hoover on SiriusXM Insight and shared an emotional story about his father, who has felt like he was female since he was a child, but backlash from his family has prevented him from openly embracing his identity.

But it wasn’t all about Jenner and identity on Friday night. Some of the conversation surrounding the broadcast was about how interviewer Diane Sawyer handled such a new and delicate subject.

“She had to be the voice of ‘I don’t know what this means …’ So she was playing the role of the audience. There are a lot of people who have never met a transgendered person … But I thought she handled it really sensitively,” EW Radio‘s Inside TV Tim Stack told co-host Jessica Shaw. “Diane really lets people talk. She lets questions go out there and let them answer.”

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Photo via Facebook/ABC 20/20

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