In an interview with Diane Sawyer that aired Friday night, Bruce Jenner revealed to the world what we had all suspected for a long time. Jenner came out as transgender woman. While the entire thing was shocking, sensational and highly anticipated, it was also emotional, sad and revolutionary. When the person who used to be the epitome of American masculinity, declares he is not in fact a man, it’s a historical moment. Bruce is the first major American celebrity to come out as transgender.
Here are ten things revealed in the Jenner’s interview. While the Kardashian/Jenner family is perhaps one of the most exposed families on the planet, it was surprising how much we didn’t really know about the patriarch of this family, especially considering how much psychological suffering he has endured for most of his life, even as a child. Bruce’s story, while clearly not representative of every transgender person, does reflect the silence and suffering of the community as a whole. After the interview, the world realized, once an athletic hero, Jenner has become a hero of a different kind.
A quick note about pronouns. Pronouns are a big thing in the transgender community. Many people who transition from male to female want to be referred to using female pronouns, such as “she” and “her.” Bruce, however, prefers male pronouns, so that is how he will be referred to for the sake of this article.
10. Bruce Revealed He Has The Soul Of A Woman
Jenner began the interview with the big reveal, saying, “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman. I was not genetically born that way … as of now I have all the male parts.” While this isn’t an easy concept for most people to relate to or even grasp, Jenner did his best to explain it, “So, here I am. Stuck — and I hate the word — a girl stuck in a guy’s body. I hate that terminology. I’m me. I’m a person and this is who I am… 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.”
9. Even As A Boy, Jenner Felt More Comfortable In Female Clothing
Jenner told Sawyer that his gender identity issues began when he was a just a boy, “I have always been very confused with my gender identity since I was this big.” While there has been speculation about Jenner’s gender for many years now, the entire thing started for him even before anyone knew who he was. He also revealed that he would go through his mother’s and sister’s closets when they weren’t home and try on their clothes, telling Sawyer “At that time I didn’t know why I was just doing it, just that it felt good.”
8. He Felt “Confused” When He Won The Olympics
During the interview, Sawyer referred to the famous photograph (above) taken after Jenner took home the gold during the 1976 Olympic games in Montreal. While most people would have described the moment with incredible pride and accomplishment, Jenner sadly didn’t feel that way at all. He revealed he was literally running from himself and was “a confused person at that time, running away from my life … with big-time fear. I didn’t know what my future held.” Despite all the press and attention, Jenner received he still felt alone, “I was a lonely boy, I’m still a lonely big boy.”
7. He Considers Himself Heterosexual, But Also Asexual
Although Jenner thinks of himself as a woman, who is sexually attracted to other woman, he considers himself heterosexual, but also asexual. To clarify, Bruce said “I’m not gay; as far as I know I’m heterosexual. I’ve never been with a guy.” But, when asked by Sawyer if he would get married again, he dodged the question saying, “It’s so far down the road, it’s like the last thing in the world. I can’t figure that side of it out. I just want to have a free soul and have a lot of great friends. I’m 65. It’s not like you want to go out and get it on all the time. I just want to enjoy life.” But when Sawyer pressed him again, Jenner shut her down by saying he is “asexual, for now.”
6. He Had Already Begun Transitioning When He Met Kris Kardashian
Bruce Jenner began his transition in the 1980’s, taking female hormones. However in 1990, when he met Kris Kardashian, he changed his mind. In one of the most shocking revelations of the interview Bruce said, “I had been on hormones for five years and I was a really solid 36B something and you really can’t hide those things. And [Kris] goes, ‘Well, OK, you like to wear women’s clothes.’ And I kind of downplayed it some. I feel in a lot of ways that when you love somebody you don’t want to hurt them.” Kris must have really loved Bruce to accept him for who he was at the time. Bruce also said that he thought they had “a pretty good sex life.”
5. All Of Jenner’s Marriages Ended For The Same Reason
Jenner has been married three times. The first time was to Chrystie Crownover. They had two children, but the marriage dissolved due to issues with Bruce’s gender identity.
Linda Thompson was Jenner’s second wife. She penned an essay for the Huffington Post where she told her side of the story, which was released a day after his interview. She also revealed Bruce’s gender issues ended their marriage. Thompson said she wouldn’t have married Jenner in the first place, if she knew he “identified as a woman.”
As for his marriage to Kris Kardashian, Bruce said, “Kris is a good woman. I’ve got no complaints with her. She’s a good person. Honestly, if she had been really good with it and understanding of it, we’d probably still be together.” All three women have released statements supporting their former husband.
4. He’s A Republican
In a sense, Bruce Jenner made a revelation perhaps more shocking than his gender identity, which was about his political identity. Yep, Jenner is a republican. Even Diane Sawyer looked surprised, almost confused. Despite what many people believe, transgender people and LGBTQ people can still be republicans. In fact, there is even an organization of Republicans who identify this way called the Log Cabin Republicans, who are, as can be presumed, in full support of Jenner. They released their own statement to the press: “Log Cabin Republicans congratulates Bruce Jenner in the tremendous courage he demonstrated tonight, being true to himself both in terms of his personal identity as well as his political identity. There is a home for you in Log Cabin Republicans — as there is for all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender conservatives and straight allies.”
3. He Once Considered Suicide
When Jenner began his transition, he had a tracheal shave procedure to reduce the appearance of his Adam’s apple, a telltale sign someone is male. When the paparazzi found out, Jenner was devastated and considered suicide, telling Sawyer “That night, I thought, ‘It’s over.’ I was in this walking up and down this hall back and forth all night long. Heart pounding. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t the easiest thing to do right now is go in the other room, get a gun. Pain is over. Done. Go to a better place.’ I thought, ‘I can’t do something like that. I want to know how this story ends.’”
2. Kanye West Has Been Especially Influential In Kim’s Support Of Bruce
All of Bruce’s children, former wives and most of the world have been supportive of him. One huge advocate has been Bruce’s son-in-law Kanye West, who told Kim “Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful daughter in the world. I have that. But I’m nothing if I can’t be me, if I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything.” Bruce said Kim is incredibly proud of her father and doesn’t just believe in him, but also wants him look as good as possible. It’s a safe bet that Kim will be an excellent stylist for Bruce.
1. Bruce Has Had Tons Of Surgical Procedures, But Not That One Yet
Over the years, Jenner has had a lot of plastic surgery to feminize his features. It started with electrolysis to remove his facial hair and body hair (remember, this was the 80’s, way before laser hair removal), rhinoplasty, face-lifts, breast implants and a tracheal shave (to lessen the appearance of his Adam’s Apple) among other things. As for the surgery that is on everyone’s mind, Jenner isn’t quite ready for that yet. But, he quoted his daughter Khloe when talking about future plans,“ If you’re living your life female, as Khloe would say, ‘You gotta have the vajayjay!” But when time is right, Jenner will not announce it to the world, “I would do it so quietly nobody in the world would ever know.”
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