Some people know the 65-year-old for his Olympic achievements while others love him as the level-headed, golf-loving stepfather on the hit reality show Keeping up with the Kardashians. But it came as a surprise to all when Bruce Jenner started to transform in a way that resembled a woman. From growing out his hair to allegedly shaving down his Adam’s apple, for months rumors swirled around the gold medalist’s appearance. All of that was finally put to rest Friday night when Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer for an emotional two-hour interview and said, “I am a woman.”
Jenner had been married three times and has 10 children, including stepchildren. The first person he told out of all of them was his son, Brandon, 33, a musician, from second wife Linda Thompson. Jenner admitted that everyone processed the news differently, and among his stepdaughters, Kim Kardashian, was the most accepting.
“They [Kanye West and Kim] were talking about it and Kanye 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 world, and 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,’” Jenner explained.
He then went on to explain the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity, having been married to women.
“Sexuality is who you are personally attracted to, what turns you on – male or female. But gender identity is how to deal with who you are as a person and your soul and who you identify with inside.”
Jenner added that he was never attracted to guys and still considers himself heterosexual.
For years Jenner had struggled with his identity, even relating back to eight or nine-years-old when he would secretly try on his mother’s dresses. “My brain is much more female than it is male,” he said. He distinctly remembered those particular moments making him feel good.
As the mayhem started to unfold a year and a half ago, Jenner confessed to contemplating suicide.
“Go into the room. Got a gun. Boom. You know? Pain is over. It’s done. You know. Go to a better place,” he thought. But such negative thoughts fortunately never came into fruition.
“I can’t do something like that. I want to know how this story ends,” Jenner followed, and has been on hormones ever since.
Jenner’s highly anticipated interview was met with praise and support not only by family and friends, but celebrities as well, including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres. Jenner is being called brave for speaking on his decision publicly for the first time and is shedding light on the transgender community. His inspiring story as well as others from Chaz Bono and “Orange is the New Black” star Laverne Cox, raise awareness on a number of transgender issues. Suicide, murder, and racial violence continue to plague the transgender community. Media website, Mashable, reported that approximately seven transgender women were killed this year.
“I would like to work with this community to get this message out,” Jenner said.
According to E! News, an eight-part documentary series will air in the summer on its network, chronicling Jenner’s life as a transgender woman.
“I feel like I’m gonna be OK.” Jenner said. “2015’s gonna be quite a ride.”