LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Former Olympian and reality star Bruce Jenner expressed Friday that’s he’s always been confused about his gender identity in a sit-down television interview amid reports that he’s transitioning into a woman.
“I’ve been thinking about this day forever and what I should do with my life. How do I tell my story? How do I tell people what I’ve been through? And that day is today,” he said.
The emotional interview with Diane Sawyer marked the first time the 65-year-old former U.S. track and field star addressed the rumors.
“Bruce [is] always telling a lie. He’s lived a lie his whole life about who he is and I can’t do that anymore,” Jenner said. “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.
“My heart and my soul and everything I do in life that female side is part of me. I was not genetically born that way.” Jenner said.
Sawyer reported that the interview would mark the last one Jenner would do as “Bruce.”
“Why now? I just can’t pull the curtain any longer … Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie,” Jenner said. “My brain is much more female than it is male.”
Jenner also talked about the struggles he’s had since he was a young boy sharing that as a kid he put on a dress.
“And at that time, I didn’t know why I was doing it besides it just made me feel good,” Jenner said. “I’m still a lonely big boy. I don’t socialize a lot. I’m not like an outgoing person. I don’t socialize a lot. I’ve never fit in. When you deal with this issue, you don’t fit in.”
“My whole life has been getting me ready for this. It’s not just the last few years as they’ve been treating me as a joke. My whole life has prepared me for this moment,” Jenner said.
Jenner and Kris Jenner finalized their divorce in December, citing irreconcilable differences. The pair married in 1991 and have two children together: Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, ages 19 and 17. Jenner is also the stepfather to Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Rob Kardashian and has three sons and a daughter from previous marriages. Jenner has ten children total, six of which are his biological children. During the interview, Jenner said he’s still attracted to women.
“Kris and I had all these great years together,” he said. “I loved Kris. I had a wonderful life with her. I learned from her.”
Jenner also explained that Khloe Kardashian has taken his transition the hardest, while Kim Kardashian has been the most accepting from his stepchildren.
“I started tearing up just thinking I’ve been in that seat,” said Zoey Tur reacting to the interview.
Tur is the country’s first transgender reporter who was formerly known as Chopper Bob best known for covering the 1992 L.A. riots and O.J. Simpson’s police pursuit in 1994. Tur works on-air for “Inside Edition.”
“Coming out is a spiritual rebirth and Bruce Jenner has been reborn into a world that could be very critical, very cruel for most transsexuals,” said Tur, who knows all too well what Jenner has gone through and will continue to go through.
But Tur doesn’t think Jenner was being completely honest during the interview. She says Jenner avoided some important questions that should have been answered.
“This is really a serious issue and we did not get to see Bruce Jenner. We didn’t learn Bruce Jenner’s new name. Bruce Jenner also avoided talking about sexuality. Bruce Jenner also didn’t want to be photographed in a dress,” Tur said.
Regardless, Tur says what Jenner did was open the door for thousands of people who struggle with gender dysphoria.
“I really firmly believe that we’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing,” Jenner said.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement: “By sharing this story, Bruce Jenner has shined a light on what it means to be transgender and live authentically in the face of unimaginable public scrutiny.”
Following news of the interview, responses emerged via social media: