Caitlyn Jenner is the former Bruce Jenner.
They are, in a sense, the same person — although, in many ways, they couldn’t be more different.
Bruce Jenner, it seems, was never fully happy. Even as he was showered with the riches brought on by a brilliant athletic career, he was never fully happy.
Caitlyn Jenner, it appears, couldn’t be happier. Even as, at 65, she’s just now, in some ways, being born.
For me at least, it’s that simple.
Someone — Jenner in this case — made a transformation in their life in an effort to be happier, in an effort to realize contentment and satisfaction. Someone — Jenner in this case — wants to live the remainder of their life without second-guessing, without wondering what might have been.
So instead, they went for it. They made a huge alteration to attempt to gain that happiness, pleasure and peace.
That’s It, Fort Pitt — that’s the whole story.
When Caitlyn Jenner, clad in lingerie, made her debut as a transgender female on the cover of Vanity Fair for the magazine’s July issue, it forced a wide array of opinion.
There was angst and disgust.
There was an “I’m so over this story” tone by some.
There was mocking.
There was acceptance and tolerance.
There was fake acceptance and phony tolerance.
There was a car-crash feeling from some, who didn’t want to look but felt obligated to glance at the goings-on because of the hubbub that the event caused — even if they might see something they didn’t really want to see.
To me, this is also far from some publicity stunt, as prominent photographer Annie Leibovitz and celebrated author Buzz Bissinger collaborated with Caitlyn Jenner on the Vanity Fair piece.
Instead, this is two-fold.
First, this is Jenner controlling the message and narrative, which is a brilliant tactic. Instead of the pushy, overly-aggressive Hollywood paparazzi playing a cat-and-mouse game with Jenner to try to get that first shot of her as a transgendered woman, Jenner put it out there for the world.
There was no high-speed chase from the paparazzi on a California freeway or through the streets of West Hollywood.
No scurrying about by Jenner in an Escalade to try to avoid them.
Instead, one brilliant “this is me, happy and proud” photo spread and interview in Vanity Fair.
And with that reveal that Jenner controlled, there is also a sense that Caitlyn can now be someone — again, finally happy and proud — who can serve to be an example and role model for those who might be struggling with what to do in a similar situation.
As it is now, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues are as hot-button as they have ever been. You can elect to embrace people who are part of that community or elect not to, but one thing is undeniably true: They aren’t going away; the people or the issues.
Me? I choose to embrace people of the LGBT community, seeing who they choose to sleep with or what kind of body parts they have as far from the most important feature when determining what kind of person they are.
I know, however, not everyone thinks like me — and they are well within their rights to do so, even as I view it as ugly and exclusionary behavior.
On the other hand, what Jenner did, to me at least, was a thing of beauty. And, perhaps most of all, it appears it will finally make Caitlyn Jenner happy. It also seems it could provide the motivation for someone else — perhaps struggling with such a decision — to not have to wait 65 years to be who they truly want to be.
This whole thing is really just about being happy — and it puzzles me how anyone could be against such a notion.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.