Husband Of 9/11 Responder Returns Glamour Award Over Caitlyn Jenner
Officer James Smith lost his wife Moira in the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Moira died a hero: She was the only female first responder lost in the buildings’ collapse, while leading others to safety.
Glamour magazine named her one of their Women of the Year, and rightfully so. But now her husband is returning the award, on the grounds that it shouldn’t have been awarded to Caitlyn Jenner this year.
Smith wrote in an open letter to the magazine, “I was shocked and saddened to learn that Glamour has just named [Caitlyn] Jenner ‘Woman of the Year.’ Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man? I can only guess that this was a publicity stunt meant to resuscitate a dying medium. After discussing this slap in the face to the memory of our Hero with my family, I have decided to return Moira’s award to Glamour magazine.” (Smith deadnamed Jenner, but we won’t.)
The sad thing here isn’t so much Smith’s transphobia, because Smith’s transphobia is pretty predictable and boring and usual. What’s sad is that Moira Smith is a hero, and her husband decided to put his late wife’s name in the national spotlight, fourteen years after her death, not on behalf of her accomplishments or her grace under extraordinary pressure, but on behalf of his own petty prejudices. Is that really worth it?
Glamour, of course, is standing by their choice to honor Jenner. A spokeswoman for the magazine said, “We were proud to honor his wife…in 2001, and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner,” the spokeswoman said. “Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards recognize women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”