Bruce Jenner: “I am a woman … If I die, I’d be so mad at myself that I didn’t explore that side of me”
Olympic champion turned reality show star Bruce Jenner confirmed on Friday that his gender identity is female.
‘For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,’ Jenner told Diane Sawyer minutes into a highly-anticipated interview on ABC.
(Jenner asked that Sawyer continue to refer to him by male pronouns for now and did not announce a new name)
‘People look at a me differently. They see you as this macho male, but my heart and soul, and what I do in life… it is a part of me – that female side is part of me. I was not genetically born that way. As of now I have all the male parts, and all that kind of stuff, and in a lot ways we’re different, but we still identify as female… And that’s very hard for Bruce Jenner to say, because I don’t want to disappoint people.’
When asked by Sawyer if he was ready to share this news with the world Jenner said: ‘You know what? It’s going to be tough. 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?’
Jenner, 65, said has had to deal with having ‘the soul of a female’ even as a young child when he would dress in his sisters’ dresses and cover his short hair with his mother’s scarves.
‘I was a lonely boy. I’m still a lonely big boy,’ Jenner said. ‘I don’t socialize a lot. I’m not an outgoing person. I never fit in.’
‘I see women and think how lucky they are that they can wake up in the morning and be themselves.’
GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, quickly responded to Jenner’s interview.
‘Today, millions of people learned that someone they know is transgender,’ said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. ‘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.
‘Though Jenner’s journey is one that is deeply personal, it is also one that will impact and inspire countless people around the world.’