‘Freedom,’ He Calls It
According to a video statement by Bruce/Caitlyn, as soon as this cover is released — that is, today — “I’m free.”
And you, reader, are the Kaiser, if you say so. Because postmodern freedom.
You’ve come a long way, baby.
The question is, have you gone up, or have you gone down?
Does “Caitlyn” represent the integration of a man’s personality, or its disintegration? How you answer that question tells us a lot about your stance toward our age — and our future.
In any case, Jenner, who is said to be preparing for “feminization” surgery on his face, might want to speak to Walt Heyer before submitting further to the knife.
UPDATE: It is no doubt not coincidental that VF tapped Buzz Bissinger to write this piece. ‘Memba him?. Excerpt:
I own eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves. Those who conclude from this that I have a leather fetish, an extreme leather fetish, get a grand prize of zero. And those who are familiar with my choices will sign affidavits attesting to the fact that I wear leather every day. The self-expression feels glorious, an indispensable part of me. As a stranger said after admiring my look in a Gucci burgundy jacquard velvet jacket and a Burberry black patent leather trench, “You don’t give a fu*k.”
I don’t. I finally don’t.
Some of the clothing is men’s. Some is women’s. I make no distinction. Men’s fashion is catching up, with high-end retailers such as Gucci and Burberry and Versace finally honoring us. But women’s fashion is still infinitely more interesting and has an unfair monopoly on feeling sexy, and if the clothing you wear makes you feel the way you want to feel, liberated and alive, then fuc*ing wear it. The opposite, to repress yourself as I did for the first fifty-five years of my life, is the worst price of all to pay. The United States is a country that has raged against enlightenment since 1776; puritanism, the guiding lantern, has cast its withering judgment on anything outside the narrow societal mainstream. Think it’s easy to be different in America? Try something as benign as wearing stretch leather leggings or knee-high boots if you are a man.
I began to wonder about sex and sexuality and where exactly I fit in in the complex spectrum. I did go into the sexual unknown, and the clothing I began to wear routinely gave me the confidence to do it, to transcend the rigid definitions of sexuality and gender, just as I also know there were the requisite stereotypical snickers.
Was I homosexual because so much of what I wore is associated with gays? I did experiment. And while I don’t think it is my sexual being, I can tell you that gay men as a group are nicer, smarter, have a sh*tload more fun than straight whites. Was I veering toward becoming a dominant leather master in the S&M scene, the leather fetish an obvious influence in most of the clothing I purchased and in much of high fashion itself? I did experiment. Was I a closeted or maybe not so closeted transvestite? Tom Ford makeup is divine; the right foundation and cheek blush and eyeliner and lipstick can do wonders for the pallid complexion. Thigh-high boots add to any wardrobe, although walking on six-inch stilettos for hours is just a bitch and therefore confined to the privacy of my house, seen only by the UPS man, who at this point could not possibly be surprised by anything. But a dress or skirt just doesn’t look good on me, and I can’t ever do a thing with my hair. The look I was going for was more David Bowie androgynous. It wasn’t successful.
I also went to Hong Kong and Macao with some friends. We went to sex clubs, many, many sex clubs with many, many women. We became tired. Four days seemed like four years.
Maybe I’m strands of all of the above. Maybe I just like all the different hues that clothing can create, a way of living on the edge when, let’s face it, most of us never come close. Maybe what I really am is an extreme narcissist.
“To repress yourself as I did for the first fifty-five years of my life, is the worst price of all to pay.” Sure, man. Sure.