All The Important Details From The Bruce Jenner Interview
[Writer's note: I am referring to Bruce as "Bruce" and using male pronouns. Diane Sawyer confirmed that Bruce himself said that, "for purposes of this interview, we should use the familiar 'him' or 'he.'"]
On Friday night, in the highly anticipated television interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyers, Bruce Jenner confirmed what we’ve all been dying to know. He is a woman.
Fans of Keeping Up With the Kardashians showed Bruce slowly change — from growing out his hair to undergoing plastic surgery — and jokes about his “woman-like” appearance became common among late-night TV hosts and comedians. But little did we know, Bruce struggled internally with his gender identity since he was a child.
The heartfelt and emotional interview began with a nervous and timid Bruce with tears in his eyes. "Diane, let's do it ... It's gonna be tough. I've been thinking about this day forever. And what I should do with my life... how do I tell my story?... And that day is today... Today is the day to be honest with myself... it's been really tough."
Although we’ve only seen Brue’s transition in recent years, Bruce admitted to wearing his mom and older sister’s dresses as an 8-year-old boy. Even though he knew he felt more like a girl than a boy in his soul, he hid his true feelings from everyone. Bruce distracted himself and put all his energy into athletics — he said when he was training for the Olympics, he cross-dressed less often, but eventually admitted his secret to first wife Chrystie. She was the first person he told.
Bruce also told his second wife, Linda Thompson, how he was feeling, and his gender issues contributed to their divorce. Then, in the 1980s, Bruce attempted to make a change — he began taking hormones and transitioning for five years — without any public knowledge. But with fears of becoming a “public spectacle,” Bruce went off the hormones and, once again, suffered quietly.
Bruce admitted to downplaying his feelings about transitioning to a woman to third wife, Kris Jenner. But the secret slowly started coming out. Step-daughter Kim Kardashian walked in on Bruce dressed as a woman. Daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner saw him admiring himself wearing a dress in one of their full-length mirrors. But no one dared talk about it. Bruce’s story, who he really, truly is, stood as the elephant in the room for years.
Without a doubt, coming to terms with their father’s transition has been far from easy. When Bruce sat down his children to tell him of his decision, they all cried. Step-daughter Khloe Kardashian has been taking it the hardest. "She's had the toughest time with it, because she's had a lot of losses in her life,” Bruce said, referring to the early loss of her father, Robert Kardashian, and her failed marriage with Lamar Odom.
Despite the pain his children and other close friends and family feel, the support and love towards Bruce is overwhelming. During the interview, all of Bruce’s children took to Twitter and Instagram to show how proud they are of Bruce’s bravery.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2015
Speaking out so openly and honestly about his transition is a monumental moment for the transgender community. If anything, the world will become more accepting, aware and understanding of those going through the struggle Bruce and his family have had. The love and support for Bruce all over social media is a refreshing and amazing thing to see. As Jimmy Fallon said on Twitter, “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
Learn more about what it means to be transgender here.