Bruce Jenner Opens Up: ‘Yes, I Am a Woman’
Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer for a deeply personal and revealing interview tonight (April 24). Many people speculated that the interview would deal with the official admission that Bruce is transitioning to a woman, but it was far more than that. During the first five minutes, Bruce admitted what the tabloids have been declaring for months. He said, "Yes, I am a woman."
(Sidenote: A voiceover from Sawyer indicates this is the last interview Bruce will give as Bruce Jenner. A tweet from ABC 20/20 indicates, "Bruce Jenner said at this moment, in this interview, we should still use the familiar pronouns "him" or "he," so we will continue to use male pronouns until Bruce indicates otherwise.)
The interview began with a teary-eyed Bruce admitting, "It's gonna be an emotional roller coaster, but somehow I'll get through it. 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."
Bruce went on to admit that despite struggling with gender identity his entire life, he is still very much the same person, "I’m me, I’m a person and this is who I am. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body, it’s just who I am. My brain is much more female than it is male. It’s hard for people to understand that, but that’s what my soul is."
Bruce also completely shot down the idea that his struggle with his gender identity is nothing more than an attempt at publicity for Keeping Up With the Kardashians. He was understandably incensed when he said, "Are you telling me I’m going to go through a complete gender change and everything you need to do for that, for the show? Yeah right. Do you have any idea what I’ve been going through all my life?"
Bruce went on to say that despite the way the media has treated him over the past few years, he believes coming out as transgender will ultimately do good in the world, providing visibility for a marginalized and alienated group of people. He said, "What I’m doing is going to do some good and we’re going to change the world. I firmly believe that we’re going to make a difference with what we’re doing...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. I want to take advantage of it and I want to do the right thing."
The entire interview is an illuminating conversation, especially for those unfamiliar with the struggles transgender people go through. When asked why he has chosen to transition now, at the age of 65, Bruce told Diane, “I just can’t pull the curtain any longer. I’ve built a nice little life, I just can’t — Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie. I can’t do it anymore."
By the end of the interview, Bruce admits that while he does identify as a woman, he has not yet decided whether he will go through with gender reassignment surgery or not, and that if he does, it will be done quietly.
Finally, Bruce seems relieved when he says, "I'm saying goodbye to people's perception of me and who I am. I'm not saying goodbye to me. This has always been me. [When you think of me, please be] open-minded. Have an open mind and an open heart. I'm not this bad person. I'm just doing what I have to do."