Bruce Jenner: His Journey to Finding Himself

Interview With Diane Sawyer
Credit:  US Magazine

Interview With Diane Sawyer Credit: US Magazine

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Does what you see reflect how you feel on the inside? These questions are very popular among the transgender community. When a transgender person looks in the mirror, they see a body that doesn’t belong to the gender that they identify with. Bruce Jenner is one of 700,000 people who are a part of the Transgender community (according to ABC News).

Bruce Jenner is known for being one of the greatest athletes in the world. He earned this title after winning the Olympic decathlon in 1976. Jenner’s achievements turned him into a huge superstar. Now, he is also known for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The famous reality show put him back into the public view.

Americans have seen Jenner change his appearance dramatically over the past twenty years starting with the plastic surgery on his face, his new long hair and his painted nails. All of these changes caused a lot of speculation to what has stirred this change.

A couple of months ago, ABC announced that Bruce Jenner would do a interview with Diane Sawyer to discuss his recent changes. Since that announcement, ABC dropped a small amount of hints as to what he would discuss. By April 24, Americans all over the country sat down in their dens and anxiously awaited what would be one of the most ground-breaking and coveted interviews of the decade.

As Jenner sat nervously on the couch, the cameramen and Diane Sawyer prepared for what would be one of the most watched interviews of the past decade. After all of the hustle and bustle dulled, Jenner sighed, knowing that there was no way going back from this point forward. He tells Sawyer before the interview stops that he knows that the next three hours will be tough but he wants to make sure that they keep their sense of humor throughout the interview because it is insane to think that he, Bruce Jenner, has to go through this.

When asked about his gender, Jenner explained that he has always been confused. Since he was a young boy, he wondered why he felt trapped in his own body. He later realized that everything he does and everything that he feels is the same way that a woman acts and feels. When he explained this to his children, he said that when God made him, he gave Bruce smarts, athleticism and a loving family, but then God thinks to himself “hmmm everyone goes through hardship so what will I give this little bird? Oh I know. We are going to give him the soul of a woman”. This, of course, is hard for Bruce to tell people because he does not want to disappoint people.

When Sawyer asked Jenner if he was using his gender to promote Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Jenner was absolutely astounded that people would think this of him. He said that he understands where people are coming from, but he wants to make it clear that his aim is not publicity for his show and that his real hope is that by sharing his story he will be a voice for others. If reality TV has helped him have the ability to make a positive change in the world, then he is proud to be a part of the reality TV empire.
Jenner then told America that this will be his last TV interview as Bruce. The next time he is seen, he will emerge as “her”. The reasoning behind him coming out so late in life is because he cannot handle lying to those he loves any longer. He says that Bruce is a lie but “she” is real.

Bruce Jenner’s gender struggle started during his childhood. When he was eight he had a strong yearning to put on a dress. At the time, he didn’t know why he was doing it. He just knew that it felt right. One day, he decided to walk out of his house with a scarf over his short-haired head and a long dress on his body. He had no idea why it felt so good, and there was no way for him to find out. All he knew was that the gender he presents on the outside does not identify how he feels on the inside.

One of the most common questions that people have for the Transgender community is: what is your sexual orientation? When Sawyer asked Jenner this exact question, he said that he has never been attracted to men and has always been in love with women. But for the time being, he will identify as asexual because he does not know his orientation at the moment because he is still transitioning. However, he wants to make it clear that gender and sexual orientation are two totally separate concepts.

When asked about coming out, he said that the first person he came out to was his first wife Christi. At the time, he just told her that he crossed dressed from time to time but she did realize that Jenner wanted to wear a dress all of the time. After nine years of marriage, their marriage ended because Jenner became restless. Later that year, he got married to to his second life Linda. During that marriage, Jenner came out to his wife. After he came out, they decided to go see a therapist. His therapist told him that his feelings were real and started him on hormones. After he started hormonal therapy, Jenner automatically started to feel like himself. This lead him to get laser surgery to get rid of his body hair and plastic surgery to give him a more feminine face. Five years later, he went through his second divorce saying that a major factor of the divorce was his gender.

Jenner’s third and most famous wife was Kris Kardashian. When they got married in the 90’s, Bruce Jenner was back in the public spotlight. Towards the beginning of their marriage, Jenner told his new wife that he wore dresses and took hormones. She had seen him in the dresses, but they never talked about her husband’s gender. After a couple of years together, he stopped the hormones. This made him sink back into the tormented mindset that he had gone through most of his life. He tried to work through his issues however being transgender is not something that he can just forget about. It wasn’t until the late 2000’s that Jenner finally realized that if he wanted to be happy that he needed to spend the rest of his life exploring “her”. At that moment he decided to transition.

When Jenner decided to transition, he decided to finally come out to his children. He was terrified to tell them because he didn’t want to hurt them. The first child he talked to was his son Brandon. When Brandon found out about Jenner’s gender, Brandon said that he was relieved. Brandon, along with his siblings, thought back to the eighties when their dad was taking hormones.Then they found out that their father was transitioning, it gave them answers to their questions about their dad’s hormonal treatments and plastic surgeries during their childhood. When one of his children asked if he would be dressing as a woman, Jenner replied by saying that he won’t dress as a woman but rather he will stop dressing as a man. After the Jenner family saw their dad as “her”, they saw joy in their father that they hadn’t seen in a long time.

The public started to notice that Bruce Jenner had grown out his hair, shaved his Adam’s apple, and worn fingernail polish. This caused a lot of speculation around the Kardashian family. Kim, who had caught Jenner in a dress in the past, finally asked him what was going on. He told her about his gender problems and the hardships he has encountered all of his life. Afterwards, he felt that she was avoiding the subject, but in reality, she just thought it was one of those things you don’t talk about. Kendall and Kylie found out when they caught him on camera using their mirror to check out a new dress. After time had passed with his huge secret burning in everyone’s minds, Jenner brought the entire Kardashian family together so that he could finally come out. Everyone cried, partially because they didn’t want anyone to hurt their dad but also because it was such a shock, especially with the fact that he wanted to transition. As time has passed, the family has become more comfortable with Jenner’s real identity especially Kim.

When it comes to Bruce Jenner’s actual transition, he wants to take things slow. He wants to be able to wear a dress and be able to blend in like every other girl. He wants to wait to have any surgeries because he is already dealing with the coming out part of the transition. However, he has been on hormonal treatment for the past year and a half and has “girl parties” at his home. To many Americans, this public transition is confusing but intriguing. During the summer, Americans will be able to see parts of Bruce Jenner’s transition into “her” through a docu-series he is doing on E! The docu-series and the next interview appearance that Jenner will make have the world waiting to see the real Bruce Jenner emerge.