Today a gold medal-winning athlete has opened the door for many other people coming to terms with their identities. Bruce Jenner, 65, in his interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer said, “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman.”
Jenner, using the third-person in many instances and using the pronoun "he", which SDGLN will respect, explains what it is like to know who you are on the inside, but physically carry the conflict and the reminders of someone you are not on the outside, “That female side is part of me; it’s who I am. I was not genetically born that way. As of now, I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff so in a lot of ways we’re different, but we still identify as female. And that’s very hard for Bruce Jenner to say. Because why? I don’t want to disappoint people,” he told Sawyer.
There have been many rumors recently about which gender the former athlete and reality star identifies with, tonight in a heartfelt and honest discussion Jenner laid to rest any rumors or speculations.
In the interview, Jenner told Sawyer what it was like to feel different inside as a child. He can remember going into his mother’s closet and picking out clothes to wear “I marked the closet so when I put it back I could put it all back, everything back in the exact same spot so I wouldn’t get caught,” Jenner said. “And, at the time, I didn’t know why I was doing it besides it just made me feel good.”
Jenner revealed that when he would travel, doing motivational speaking, he would find solace in his room where he could be free and happy, “I’d literally go up into the hotel room, change [into women’s] clothes, and walk around.”
Married three times, Jenner says that he is only attracted to women. Gender identity and sexuality are different. One cannot change their sexuality, just as one cannot genetically change their eye color.
Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Programs, transgender media said of the interview, “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."
Bruce Jenner does want to inspire people, and by doing the interview the many transgender people still hiding within themselves now have an honored role model to look upon with pride. but Jenner is quick to point out that there is still much he doesn’t know, “I would like to work with this community to get this message out, they know a lot more than I know ... I am not a spokesman for the community.”
Jenner, won the gold in the 1976 Summer Olympics and became a hero for people everywhere, 39 years later, he becomes a hero once again. Transgender people will hopefully take his message as one of courage a perseverance and perhaps provide a beacon of hope to a sometimes cruel and hurtful world.
“What I’m doing, is going to do some good, we are going to change the world," Jenner said. "I really, firmly believe that we’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing.”