Friday night 20/20 featured a special two hour interview with Bruce Jenner. For the better part of the last couple years, Bruce has been the subject of rumors that he is planning a gender transition and will soon be living as a woman. Friday night, these rumors were confirmed by Bruce. Here is a little of what we learned from Diane Sawyer’s interview:
- Bruce doesn’t not want us to get too tripped up on pronouns. He asked Diane Sawyer early in the interview to refer to him as Bruce/him/he until further notice.
- Bruce felt that he was in the wrong body from the time he was very little. He recalled the first time he dressed as a woman and left the house as a young nine year old. He would routinely borrow his sister’s and his mother’s clothes and it wasn’t until he was much older that he was able to identify that he felt that he was in the wrong body.
- When Bruce competed in the Decathlon in the Olympics, he felt as though he was literally running away from his “issue.” While the rest of us see a gold medalist who would be defined as the strongest man in the world, Bruce Jenner sees a lonesome sadness in his own eyes. He noted that at that moment he realized that what he had been working for was over, and that he was afraid that he would need to find another “beard.”
- Bruce has always been attracted to women. He educated us by clarifying the difference between gender identity and sexual preference. Sexual preference is about who you want to go to bed with, gender identity is about who you want to go to bed as.
- Bruce told each of his three wives about his feelings. Each had different reactions. His first wife thought she could change him, it put a strain on his marriage with his second wife, and his third wife, Kris Jenner stayed with him for 25 years, and Bruce feels that had they been able to work through his transition they would still be together.
- Bruce began the process of transitioning in the 1980’s. After his divorce from his second wife, Bruce began taking hormones. That was the first time the public started to see his appearance change a great deal. He took hormones for five years with the intent to transition, when he found that he felt too afraid to go all the way through with the process. Around that time, he met and married Kris Jenner.
- Bruce refers to his female persona as simply “Her.” When asked if she has a name, he was not ready to share that. However, frequently throughout the interview he refers to “Her” and talks about the journey of transitioning to “Her.”
- Bruce’s family is very supportive of him. His four children from his first two marriages appeared on the interview to show their support for their dad. His daughters and stepdaughters from his marriage to Kris all were represented as supportive. Bruce’s sister and mother were also featured on the interview and verbally shared their loving support of Bruce. Even Bruce’s ex wives have spoken up since the interview aired to share their support.
Truly, if you’ve not had the opportunity (and trust me, it’s an opportunity) to watch the interview, I hope you’ll take the time to do so. Hearing Bruce’s story in Bruce’s words is nothing short of inspiring.
And we can’t wait to get to know “Her.”
Please tune in to our myTalk Roundtable Monday at noon during Colleen and Bradley as we are joined by a medical professional and a transgender advocate to help unpack this fascinating and emotional interview.0