Rumors have been circulating for some time now about Bruce Jenner’s gender identity. The former Olympic champion has finally put the rumors to rest and set the record straight. In multiple interviews he has admitted to struggling with his gender identity for some time. Even as a child he felt very confused in this regard, as he put it in an interview with ABC News. He went on to say that he identifies as being a woman and has felt a feminine side to himself since growing up in New York. He finally got to the point that he could not hide his feelings any longer and felt that he should be truthful to himself and the world. He point blank told ABC News that he was a woman or technically transgender.
Jenner added that he has been preparing for this moment of coming out and coming clean his whole life. He also said that he feels he is heterosexual and has always been to the best of his knowledge. Even though he considers himself a woman, he stills feels attracted to women and always has. Jenner explained to the Washington Post that God put in him the soul of a woman. He was born with a man’s body and woman’s soul. He added that he felt like God was giving him a challenge to see if he could and how he would deal with it.
Jenner also wants everyone to know that he hates labels. He does not want it to be just as simple as he is a girl in a man’s body. Even though he feels that he has a female brain and personality, his soul is what counts. He said that he knows that this may confuse people and they may not relate to what he is saying as well as feeling, but ultimately he feels in his soul that he is a woman internally as he told the Washington Post.
During an interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner said that it was fine for Sawyer to refer to him as a him. However, after the interview he wanted to be referred to as a her. He said that his gender and personal identity struggles has impacted his relationships of the past and present. He knows that people will see him differently, but he feels what he feels in his soul and this female side is a huge part of him.
A Christian Post article mentioned how people should sympathize with others who are struggling as Jenner has been. No one should laugh at them or judge, but rather try to identify with them and understand their struggles. The article said that people should all try to relate to the struggles of the transgender person. These people may feel alienated from their family and friends, as well as from themselves in a way and may really be struggling to understand what is going on within. It is helpful to such individuals, the Christian Post continued, for others to be understanding rather than judgmental.
On a positive note, it does appear that Jenner’s family has been very supportive of him. Jenner said that he feels love coming from his family. He said in an interview for CNN that the love from his family gives him the courage to be who he is and the best version of himself. He said also that his family said that they were proud of him for being true to himself and opening up to everyone rather than holding his feelings inside. He added that he hopes the he can inspire or motivate other transgender individuals to open up and be true to themselves as well. He wants such people to know that he was uncertain at first, as they may be, but once the truth was out it was relieving. The CNN article did say that while Jenner has faced negativity, the response to his confession has been more positive than negative overall. Some people have said on forums that they are tired of hearing about Jenner, but most people seem to have empathy for him and his struggle. The love and support of Jenner’s family has helped him get through any negativity though.
Jenner has also said that as a child he felt the desire to try on his mother’s clothes. He said that this urge made him think even back then that his soul was more feminine. In his article with ABC News, he said that he is not gay and he considers gender identity and sexuality as two different things. He has also not decided whether or not he wishes to have sexual change surgery, which is also known as gender reassignment surgery. He said that he may decide one day in the future to have the surgery, but he is in no rush. If he did have it, he would want it to be a private affair. He is open to the idea but he wants to wait and see what the future holds and wants to do it when he is ready if he decides to do so. Jenner just feels relieved after his confession of being transgender and is hopeful about the future. His goal is to be who he is and wants the world to know who he truly is.
By Heather Granruth