The rumours and reports have been out there for months, maybe even years, as Bruce Jenner‘s appearance had slowly begun changing. For the longest time, it was merely about mocking his love of plastic surgery. But then things started getting mean. He’s changed quite a bit from the Olympian and cereal box cover athlete to now. Everything written about Bruce has been negative and judge-y as speculation grew as to whether Jenner is transitioning into a woman. But Jenner’s long-awaited interview with Diane Sawyer finally aired and Bruce let it all out.
The two-hour 20/20 special aired Friday and it confirmed what had long been presumed, but never made official: Bruce Jenner is a transgender woman. Knowing what we’ve known for months versus hearing him say it and talk about it with such emotion was so powerful.
Before and after the interview aired, his children showed their support on social media.
Understandingly, this has been very hard for me. You will hear what I have to say when I’m ready to but…
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) April 25, 2015
..this isn't about me. I'm so proud of you, Dad. You are so brave. My beautiful Hero.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) April 25, 2015
Just finished watching the #BruceJennerInterview with the family. Bruzer, I’m soooo proud of you! Dads really are heros
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) April 25, 2015
so very proud of you, my hero.
— Kendall Jenner (@KendallJenner) April 25, 2015
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2015
Couldn't be a more proud daughter. With courage and bravery, let’s change the world. I am honored to stand by Bruce’s side and support him.
— Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) April 25, 2015
It’s an interview that needs to be seen, but here are some of highlights:
– Bruce used to wear his sister’s clothes as a kid and as an adult would wear women’s clothes. He explains that he was born with “the soul of a female.” He admits that Kris Jenner knew he cross-dressed, but “downplayed it,” saying he didn’t want to hurt her.
– Bruce did describe their sex life as “pretty good” and that they had a “wonderful life” together. “I loved Kris. I learned a lot from her.”
– He is not gay, has never been with a guy, is still attracted to women and described himself, for now, as “asexual.”
– He’s still a Republican. And religious. “I’m kind of on more of the conservative side,” but hopes to use his his story to spread awareness and acceptance. “I had this feeling, kind of a revelation, that maybe this is my cause in life. This is why God put me on this earth … to deal with this issue.”
– Bruce considered suicide after photos were published of him going into the doctor’s office for a tracheal shave last year. He wasn’t ready for his secret to come out. “That night, I thought, ‘It’s over.’ I was 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.'”
– His sister kept his secret for 30 years, but the first person he told was his first wife Chrystie Scott, with whom he has a son, Burt, and daughter, Cassandra. His second marriage, to Linda Thompson, failed partly because of his gender transition. Between his marriages to Linda and Kris, Bruce was in therapy and getting estrogen treatments. He is currently on estrogen treatments and has been for more than a year.
– As for his kids’ reactions, his older kids seemed to accept it. Kim Kardashian West was the “most accepting,” along with her husband Kanye. Khloe had a “tougher time” dealing with the news. Kim actually caught him in women’s clothing, but kept quiet about it for years. Now Bruce says she’s ready to help him “look good.” He explained, “Kim told me a story. She goes, ‘You know what really turned me around? I’m thinking about this.’ And I said, ‘What?’ She goes, ‘Kanye.’ They were talking about it and he says to Kim, ‘Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the room, 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.’ From Kanye, yeah. And since then, Kimberly has by far been the most accepting and the easiest to talk to about it.”
– Bruce calls his gender identity “Her” and “She,” and often referred to that and “Bruce” in the third person. “Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie. I can’t do it anymore.”
– He’s picked a new name but is keeping it under wraps. (“The media would go crazy.”) Bruce is also considering sex reassignment surgery. “Those are all things that are out there in the future for me to explore. I would do it so quietly, no one in the world would ever know.”
– The 20/20 interview will be Bruce’s last as Bruce. “I’m saying goodbye to people’s perception of me and who I am. I’m not saying goodbye to me because this has always been me.”
The interview was a triumph and handled perfectly. Sawyer was a pro, of course, but not only was it Bruce’s personal story but it also shed so much light on transgender issues. Bruce says he’s not doing this for attention; he just hopes this helps do some good. And because of how open he was, and how he is still learning and how nothing was off limits, he definitely will.
Bruce Jenner is a beautiful, brave human being. Sending him lots of love. He’s saving lives and opening minds tonight.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 25, 2015
bruce jenner – just beautiful in every way – thank u for ur courage #inspiring
— Rosie (@Rosie) April 25, 2015
We are witnessing history. This is beautiful to watch. #BruceJennerABC
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) April 25, 2015
— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) April 25, 2015
— Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) April 25, 2015
#BruceJennerABC Now that is bravery.❤️
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) April 25, 2015