Tonight was Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer. Bruce confirmed to the public for the first time that he is making the transition to a woman and gave a lot of background and insight into his past and explained things in the best way he could to try to help others understand what he’s been going through and what he hopes for his future. He also shared who is taking the change the hardest and who is the most accepting.
Bruce starts out very emotional and nervous from the get-go. “It’s going to be an emotional roller-coaster but somehow I’ll get through it.” He gets teary and says “Let’s do it” and shares that “it’s going to be tough, but I’ve been waiting for 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.” As he cries, he tries to lighten things up and tells Diane that they have to keep their sense of humor about this. “I would say I’ve always been very confused with my gender identity since I was “this” big.”
On telling his kids, “I’ve tried to explain it to them this way.” And then he tells the story that God was looking down when he made ‘little Bruce’ and he made him smart and determined and gave him wonderful qualities but at the end God decided to give him “stuff to deal with” and gave him the soul of a female.
He says he doesn’t like the terminology of “woman stuck in a man’s body” and those types of explanations because he’s just “I’m just me. This is who I am. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body, it’s just who I am as a human being. My brain is much more female than it is male. It’s hard for people to understand that but it’s what my soul is.”
Bruce says he’s lived a lie his whole life and he can’t do it anymore. He takes his ponytail out. When Diane asks if he’s a woman. “Yes, for all intents and purposes I am a woman.”
Bruce explains that it’s hard for him to say that he identifies as female because he doesn’t want to disappoint people.
Diane tells him people are skeptical that he’s doing all of this for the show. He laughs it off saying nobody would go through all of this just for the show. She mentions the shameless shilling the Keeping up with the Kardashians show does – it’s what they do. But Bruce says “I’m going to do some good and we’re going to change the world.” He says that if KUWTK gave him that foothold to be able to go out and do something good in the world, he’s all for it.
Diane brings up the fact that he’s been the butt of so many jokes in recent months since the transition story hit the media. “My whole life has been getting me ready for this. It’s not just the past few years.” This is the last interview he’ll do as “Bruce.” His dream is to reemerge as “her.” Why now at 65 years old? He says he can’t keep living the lie.
Bruce and Diane visit his childhood hometown and discuss is upbringing and his early feelings of being female, trying on dresses, etc from a very young age.
He shares that he’s a lonely guy and he’s not very social. He feels he has never fit in. I likes to play golf, but plays by himself most of the time. He does explain the he’s not gay. He’s heterosexual.
They discuss his journey to the Olympics and his first wife Chrystie. He says that she’s the first one he sort of discussed his feelings with. He said she was very loving about it. He welcomed son Burt and then daughter Cassandra as they were splitting up. He met Linda Thompson at a time he was restless in the marriage and he and Kristie called it quits.
They try to explain the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation. He says sexuality is who you are personally attracted to and gender identity is who you are as a person and your soul. Diane says a transgender writer explained it to her as sexual desire is whom you go to bed with and gender is who you go to bed as.
Bruce talks about his marriage to Linda. They share two kids, Brody and Brandon. Bruce admits that his gender issues were a big part of why the marriage ended in the 80’s. After their split, he sought help and started his transition as a woman. He started taking female hormones for five years. At that time he shared his story with his sister Pam.
Bruce stopped his transition in the 80s and lost his nerve, thinking of what it would do to his young kids and the public spectacle. And he worried about what’s in the Bible since he’s religious. He stopped the hormones.
When he met Kris he had to tell her because it was hard to hide the affects of the hormones, etc. She assumed he just liked to wear women’s clothes and he downplayed the whole thing to her. He says she didn’t say much if she saw him dressed up. They never went to therapy, just tried to deal with it on their own. Kris helped to turn Bruce back into a household name. He says that he loved Kris and had a wonderful life with her and learned a lot from her.
Diane asks Bruce if he regrets doing Keeping up with the Kardashians. He laughs at the fact that he was the one who had the biggest story of them all and it was never used. He says they’ve done about 425 episodes and he laughs that the one, real, true story in the family was the one he was hiding and the one that could change lives and he couldn’t tell it.
Bruce says in his sixties he decided that he didn’t want to die and never get the chance to live his truth. Kris was shocked and he says it was tough on her. He gushed about what a good person he was. He says if she was okay with it, they’d still probably be together.
After his split with Kris, the paparazzi started to hound and the worst was when details of his appointment for the tracheal shave leaked to the media and cameras were waiting. He contemplated suicide that very night. He thought it might be easy – pain’s over and go to a better place. But he decided he couldn’t do it and then .
Diane then shares that ABC reached out to all of Bruce’s ex-wives and Kris Jenner said “no comment.” Chrystie and Linda both had supportive and kind words to share about Bruce and his transition. Kris denied Diane’s claim and stated tonight that she had not been asked for comment. She said on Twitter in reply to Perez Hilton:
Bruce admits that he was terrified to tell every one of his kids. “Those are the only ones I’m concerned with and the only ones in my life that I can’t allow myself to hurt them.” He explained to the kids that their upbringing was as much Bruce as it was “her.” He says that he told the kids he’ll always be there, he’s not going anywhere.
The first one Bruce told was Brandon. Brandon sat down with Diane and said that the way Bruce did it wasn’t perfect by any means. He says Bruce started out with “here’s the deal,” followed by a long pause and a trembling voice and and that he could see how difficult it was for him to share it. Brandon says it’s tragic how many years Bruce has had to spend grappling with this. Brandon says he feels he’s getting an upgraded version of his dad. Diane is disbelieving that Brandon is so positive in his reaction. Brandon says “obviously there are parts of it that aren’t necessarily easy. I’m not handling this perfectly. I’m just doing my best to cope with what’s going on. And when I see my dad as a woman, it might be a little shocking at first.”
Bruce says that he thinks there’s a little bit of embarrassment for his family. But Diane shares that a few days after the interview they got a call and the four oldest Jenner kids want to sit down and share their support. Cassandra says she just held his hand and cried with him and told him how proud of him she was. Brody says “the first thing I thought was just ‘oh it finally makes sense.'” They all say that they’re free to ask him anything they want and they’re all free to mess up since it’s new territory for them all. Cassandra said she wanted to know what they should call him now and he shared that they can all still call him dad and he’ll always be dad. Brody says all the traits that he loved about Bruce “she” still has. Burt joked that their phone greetings may have to change since they used to call each other ‘big guy’ and that’s not something you want to call a female now.
Brandon shared that people used to ask him if Bruce Jenner was his father when they’d hear his last name when he was little and he was very proud to say yes. And he shared how he’ll respond to that after tonight’s interview. He says that this sense of bravery far exceeds all of Bruce’s past accomplishments. He is more proud than ever to be part of Bruce’s family.
They then talk about Bruce being there to help raise the Kardashian kids when he and Kris got married. Bruce says of all his children, “I raised wonderful, wonderful children. Ten of them. Millions of miles of carpool.” He shares that Kim is the first person he ever told and that on two different occasions Kim, Kylie and Kendall caught him in a dress but it was never talked about. He says it was like a big secret in the family and they never talked about it. Until the articles started surfacing a few years ago. He told Kim about it because she asked and then she admitted that she thought it was one of those subjects she couldn’t talk about.
Bruce says of telling the kids. “They all cried, mainly because they don’t want anybody to hurt dad. They’re very protective of me. Especially Kendall and Kylie.” He reveals that Khloe was taking it the hardest. “You would think out of all of the kids Khloe is the most fun, open minded. Khloe got very emotional, she’s had the toughest time with it because she’s had a lot of losses in her life. She lost her father at a young age, he died suddenly of cancer. Lamar had his issues.” They show a clip of Khloe telling Bruce in an old episode of KUWTK about how much she appreciates him being a strong man in her life. He says Khloe feels like her whole life is falling apart but that he’s not going anywhere and will still be there for her.
He says that Kourtney’s concern is the kids – Mason is only five. Bruce says kids are adaptable. He admits that the girls have been reluctant to see him as “her.” He says he understands it and wouldn’t rush it.
Kim had a ‘breakthrough’ courtesy of Kanye. She told Bruce that what really turned her around was Kanye explaining that he can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world and have the most beautiful daughter in the world but he would be nothing if he couldn’t be himself. So, Bruce says now Kim has been the most accepting and the easiest to talk to. Her advice to Bruce? “Girl you gotta rock it. You gotta look good. If you’re doing this thing, I’m helping you. You’re representing the family, you gotta look really good.”
ABC reached out to all of Bruce’s daughters (aside from Cassandra who had already done her piece of the interview) and only heard back from Kendall and Kylie, who said “we love our dad very much, he has the biggest heart and all we want is for him to be happy. If he’s happy, we’re happy.”
Bruce then shares that he’s not a spokesman for the transgender community and that others know much more than he, but he wants to be a positive help. “I would like to think that we could save some lives here.”
He drops the bombshell that Twitter was in shock over – he’s a republican. He talks about his Christian faith and admits that he wondered what God was thinking about him. “I had this feeling and kind of a revelation that maybe this is my cause in life. This is why God put me on this earth is to deal with this issue. That was a very powerful moment. It certainly gave me an awful lot of courage.”
Diane asks if he’s going to share “her” name. “No, because if I do the media would go crazy and I’d never get rid of them.” Diane notes that Bruce shared that he knows how lucky he is to have the money from the show and from his upcoming docuseries to get quality medical care, plastic surgery, etc. He says “face, breasts, all that kind of stuff.” He’s been back on hormones for about a year and a half and he says that it mentally takes the edge off.
Bruce isn’t 100% sure on the reassignment surgeries yet. “Those things are out there for me to explore. There’s no rush for that and I would do it so quietly that nobody in the world would ever know. I’m not shooting any of it, I’m not filming anything.” He says any SRS wold be further down the line.
When Diane asks if he’s thinking about remarrying and he says that’s so far down the road and he’s still figuring things out. Right now he just wants to have a ‘great soul and a lot of great friends.’ He says he just wants to enjoy life. He says if this is his only real problem in life, he’ll be okay. “I’ve got my health, I’ve got my children, I’ve got family, I’ve got seven grandkids now. I’m actually really excited about the future, about what I could do. About doing some real good in the world.” He shares how eager he is for 2015 and what a great ride it’ll be.
Bruce invites Diane to dinner to meet “her” privately. And whens he asks if “she” is more like a Kardashian he says that she is definitely a Jenner. He showed Diane his closet and then noted that his next house will have a “glam room.”
Bruce’s 89 year old mom recorded a message telling him how much she loves him and how proud she is of him. Bruce doesn’t think his dad, who passed away, would be okay with it. “He loved me. I wish I would’ve told him. It would’ve been tough for him, probably tougher than anybody.”
This interview is the last that Bruce will do as “Bruce.” He says he’s saying goodbye to people’s perception of who he is/was, but he’s still him. He just wants everyone to be open-minded and open-hearted.
After the interview, his family took to Twitter to share supportive thoughts.
Couldn’t be a more proud daughter. With courage and bravery, let’s change the world. I am honored to stand by Bruce’s side and support him.
— Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) April 25, 2015
so very proud of you, my hero.
— Kendall Jenner (@KendallJenner) April 25, 2015
Just finished watching the #BruceJennerInterview with the family. Bruzer, I’m soooo proud of you! Dads really are heros ❤️
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) April 25, 2015
Love is the courage to live the truest, best version of yourself. Bruce is love. I love you Bruce. #ProudDaughter
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2015
Not only was I able to call him my husband for 25 years and father of my children, I am now able to call him my hero.
— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) April 25, 2015
Proud son. https://t.co/n4BGMx5ubq
— Brandon Jenner (@sprandoni) April 24, 2015
Kylie shared, “Understandingly, this has been very hard for me. You will hear what I have to say when I’m ready to but….this isn’t about me. I’m so proud of you, Dad. You are so brave. My beautiful Hero.” And then “All this positive feedback I’m reading! makes me so happy.”
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