Bruce Jenner: “For All Intents And Purposes I Am A Woman”
Last night on “20/20,” Bruce Jenner, 65, sat down with Diane Sawyer for a two hour interview and confirmed what had long been whispered about in the tabloids: that he was transitioning to a woman, and finally living as the person he’s felt himself to be inside all his life. (I am continuing to use male pronouns, as was Bruce Jenner’s request in the interview.) After decades of living a lie publicly and mostly privately as well (all of his wives, including Kris Jenner, were aware of Bruce’s struggle with his gender identity, but the topic was mostly not discussed), Bruce finally told the world what he has been waiting to say for years: “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.”
Jenner, who declined to tell Sawyer what his new name would be (but he insists that his children continue to call him “Dad”), said that he knew since he was a young child that he was different, that “my brain is much more female than it is male. It’s hard for people to understand that, but that’s what my soul is.” He said that he threw himself to sports and fitness as a way of trying to accept his genetically male body, excelling to the point where he won the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics and earning the title of the greatest athlete in the world. But as Jenner emphasized to Sawyer, his gender identity and his life achievements are not mutually exclusive. “You can still kick butt,” he laughed.
Jenner started hormone treatments in the 1980s, as part of his initial steps towards transitioning, but stopped shortly after getting married to his third wife, Kris. Over the years, a few of his 10 children (six biological children and four stepchildren) stumbled upon Bruce’s secret, but it wasn’t until recently that Bruce finally told them the full truth about who he is. “They all cried,” he said. “Mainly because they didn’t want anybody to hurt dad. They are very protective of me.” Jenner said they have all been supportive, though some — including son Brandon and stepdaughter Kim — have had an easier time accepting the news than others.
“Kimberly has been by far the most accepting and the easiest to talk to about it,” Jenner said, explaining that it was actually Kanye West who helped Kim fully understand the importance of Bruce being himself, telling her that “I’m nothing if I can’t be me,” and that the same thing applies to Bruce.
“I feel like I’m getting an upgraded version of my dad, of a parent,” said Brandon Jenner, while son Brody Jenner said the revelation made so much suddenly make sense.
“I’m saying goodbye to people’s perception of me and who I am,” Bruce said. “But I’m not saying goodbye to me. This has always been me. [When you think of me], please be open-minded. I’m not this bad person. I’m just doing what I have to do.”
For years, Jenner, as one of the stars of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” had the actual “story to tell,” and finally, starting this summer, he’ll tell it in his own reality series, the goal of which is all about helping and educating. “I believe we can save some lives here.”
Congratulations to Bruce Jenner on finally being able to live his truth. You are an inspiration and a hero and we are so happy for you. [ABC News]