After a year of rumors and speculation, Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer to discuss his transition from male to female.
During the interview, Jenner referred to himself using male pronouns and ABC News has chosen to follow his lead, though he also referred to himself as “Bruce” and “her.”
“I look at it this way—Bruce always telling a lie. He’s lived a lie his whole life about who he is. And I can’t do that any longer,” Jenner said.
“My brain is much more female than it is male,” he added. “It’s hard for people to understand that, but that’s what my soul is.”
For decades, Jenner’s ex-wives and sister kept the secret of his gender identity struggle as the only people who knew. The circle expanded recently when Jenner told his mother and his 10 children. Jenner has six biological children – Burt, Cassandra, Brandon, Brody, Kendall and Kylie -- and four step children -- Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian.
“They all cried. Mainly because they didn’t want anybody to hurt dad,” Jenner said. “They are very protective of me.”
Jenner says he has undergone cosmetic facial surgeries over the years and took the female hormone estrogen for five years in the late 1980s. Jenner has been back on hormones for the past year and a half.
At this point, Jenner is unsure of what the future holds in terms of other surgeries.
“As of now, I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff, so in a lot of ways we’re different, okay?” Jenner said to Sawyer during the interview. “But we still identify as female. And that’s very hard for Bruce Jenner to say. Because why? I don’t want to disappoint people."
There are some really inspiring quotes from his family and ex-wives in the article on ABC News, too.
Jenner will probably discover life as a woman has some pitfalls he never encountered as a man, and he might rethink his politics as a consequence.
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Sawyer wondered whether a transgender individual affiliating with the Republican Party might be "an unsettling thing" for conservative Republicans, but Jenner told her neither party "has a monopoly on understanding." Sawyer asked Jenner whether he would ask Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) or House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to "help champion this cause."
"I would do that, yeah, in a heartbeat," Jenner said. "Why not? And I think they'd be very receptive to it."
He might be in for a surprise on that score. Already he's being pummeled by the conservative talkerati as one who is "in need of counseling and a lot of prayer" because he's a "hot mess." Although he'll get some support from GOProud, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in John Boehner doing much of anything to help champion that cause. There's too many haters on that side for that.
For Jenner, it's a courageous act to follow through at 65. As his first wife Chrystie Scott said, “Someone who has lived 65 years of his life as the wrong gender has every right to live the last quarter of his life as his authentic self. I support him and so hope the world can too. I pray for his happiness for the rest of his journey.”