Bruce Jenner bravely opens up about his 'true self' in an emotional interview
After months of speculation, Bruce Jenner has finally confirmed that he identifies as a woman – and confessed that he has battled with gender issues since his childhood.
The 65-year-old former Olympian bravely opened up in a two-hour ABC interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday night, during which he tearfully revealed that he has always felt more female than male and now plans to transition physically.
It was Bruce‘s changing appearance – including longer hair and painted nails – that first sparked rumours about his gender change and the reality star admitted that he has been secretly wearing women’s clothes for a long time. He even showed Diane a little black dress from his wardrobe featuring see-through panels on the arms and neck.
Here’s what Bruce had to say on his gender identity and how it’s affected many aspects of his life:
Bruce on… who he really is: ‘For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.
‘My brain is much more female than it is male. That’s what my soul is. Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie. I can’t do it anymore.’
On his past gender struggles: ‘I have always been very confused with my gender identity since I was this big.
‘People look at me differently. They see this macho male, but this female side is part of me, it’s who I am. I was not genetically born that way, and so now I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff so in a lot of ways we’re different but we still identify as female.’
On the time he first put on one of his mother’s dresses as a child: ‘At the time, I didn’t know why I was doing it besides it just made me feel good.’
On whether he feels trapped in his body: ‘I’m a person and that’s who I am. I’m not stuck in anyone’s body. It’s just me. It’s who I am.’
On feeling suicidal after paparazzi spotted him following his tracheal shave surgery: ‘That night I thought, “Oh, it’s, like, over.” I was walking up and down this hall right here, back and forth, back and forth all night long. Heart’s pounding.
‘And I thought, wouldn’t the easiest thing to be right now, and I could see where people get to that – is go in the room, get a gun. Boom. You know? Pain’s over. Done. Go to a better place.
‘And I thought, “nah, I cant do something like that”. I mean, I wanna know how this story ends.’
On the physical changes ahead: ‘You do face, breasts, you know, all that kind of stuff. There are certainly some physical changes to it, but it’s mostly mentally. It just kinda takes the edge off… At this point, SRS-sexual reassignment surgery-will be down the line.’
On telling his kids: ‘Those are the only ones I’m concerned with. I can’t let myself hurt them. How do I do this? How do I do this and not hurt my children? I tried to explain to them that as much of your upbringing was ‘her’ as much as it was the he-side.’
On whether his female self is a Jenner or a Kardashian: ‘No, no. She’s definitely a Jenner. Very chic, classy, black little outfit.’
On his sexuality: ‘I am not gay. I am, as far as I know, heterosexual. As far as I know, I’ve never been with a guy. I’ve always been married, raising kids.’
On what lies ahead: ‘I’ll be okay. I’ve got my health. I’ve got my children. I got family. I got seven grandkids now. I’m actually really excited about the future, about what I could do… I feel like i’m going to be okay. 2015 is gonna be quite a ride.’
On what he hopes people’s reaction will be to his interview: ‘Open-minded. Have an open mind and an open heart. I’m not this bad person. I’m just doing what I have to do.’
Bruce’s journey will be the subject of an eight-part E! documentary series which airs on 26 July. The as-yet-untitled show will follow Bruce – who has not yet chosen to live publicly as a woman in the media, though said that his interview would be his last before becoming a ‘she’ – as he ‘seeks out his “new normal”‘, a press release says.