It looks like Bruce Jenner has finally found a way to out-stage the Kardashian clan. After rumors circulated around about the former-Olympic athlete shaving down his adam’s apple to take on a more feminine appearance, 65 year old Jenner puts the rumor mill to rest by confirming their suspicions. In a long and tell-all interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, the gold medal winner admitted to his life as always wanting to become a transgendered woman. Although brave in his decision to publicly confirm people’s suspicions, his choice to give the interview and tell his story could arguably have been just a little too much of a public spectacle for such a serious event.
Almost 17 million viewers tuned in this past Friday to watch as Diane Sawyer finally got the root of all the talk behind Bruce Jenner. Sitting with the former athlete in his Malibu home, Sawyer asked the questions that the world had been thinking and the tabloids had been circulating. Not only was his change to a woman a reality, but a lifelong decision that he has been conflicted with. Ever since he was a younger child, Jenner has always been unsure about his gender orientation. Though he did not decide to start the transformations until the mid 80’s, he was very open about his reasons for choosing now to come out.
There were no questions that did not go unanswered during the almost two hour long ABC special. Jenner admitted that he had started cross-dressing as early as the late 70’s. His affinity for woman’s garments did not stop as he became romantically involved with women. Even throughout his three marriages, he would periodically dress in woman’s clothes. Sometimes he would even go out the house dressed in full drag. Even at a young age, he had worn his mother’s dresses in private to fulfill an unknown desire. As his life progressed, he continued to become a poster-boy for American masculinity, but always felt that something was missing or different about him. Jenner went on to state that the only reason that he decided to choose his mid 60’s to fully transition was for his ten children (6 with his former three wives and the step Kardashian children) and public scrutiny.
Considering his recent bouts and slander in the tabloids, it was finally Bruce Jenner’s chance to come clean about the journey that will be his former life and also shed light on the plight of the transgender community. Jenner mentioned the statistics of growing death rates within different races of transgendered youth. From suicide to brutality and discrimination, Jenner discussed his journey was not as tough as others going through their transition phase. Jenner’s was just more public than others.
Still referring to himself as a “he”, Bruce Jenner spoke candidly about not doing it for others, but only himself. A long, confusing journey that only recently came under much mockery and jokes because of his association with the growing Kardashian brand. One thing he made sure to make clear was the decision was entirely separate from gaining publicity for E’s show Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Considering that he is one of a extremely limited amount of transgendered celebrities and first former pro-athlete to come forward, placing him as one of the figure heads to the movement is not doing a disservice to the transgendered community.
Opinion By Tyler Cole