After almost two years of speculation from tabloids and a lifetime of confusion from close friends and family members, Bruce Jenner has officially come out as transgender. At age 65, Jenner opened up to millions on ABC’s 20/20 with Diane Sawyer to discuss his struggle with identity and sexuality. In his interview, which aired on Friday, April 24, he talked about his family, past relationships, and future plans while keeping a very light and humorous atmosphere. Throughout the entire session, he reached out to the millions of transgender people facing the same struggles that he has by giving some advice and reminding them that “it’s never too late.”
Once it became known to the world that Bruce Jenner had identified himself as a woman, it was no surprise that people around the world had different views on his sexuality. Wendy Williams dismissed Bruce Jenner on her TV show saying, “I feel duped because he’s the same fame whore as the rest of the family,” implying that his announcement is for publicity. Amid the many offensive comments though, there were just as many supportive voices sharing pride and hope. Celebrities including Ariana Grande, Larry King, and Lady Gaga took to Twitter to express their support and respect, applauding how brave of a woman he truly is. Now out of the closet, so to speak, Jenner will need as much positive support around him as possible as he takes his next big step in learning about who he truly is – something that no one should be denied.
Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer marked a monumental step for Jenner in not only allowing himself to grow as a person, but in educating people of the still much misunderstood world of human sexuality. By teaching us how “sexual orientation and gender identity are apples and oranges,” allowing people to understand that sexuality should no longer remain an issue. Jenner is opening up the minds of millions and saving the lives of people who may be going through exactly what he has been struggling with throughout his entire life. He is sharing his courage with men and women everywhere around the world who are looking for acceptance in their journey to learn how to love who they truly are.
While I will never fully understand the struggle he has faced for the past years of his life, I know that it could not have been easy. I hope that people learn from his experience and continue making this world a much more accepting and non-judgemental place so that no one will have to live in fear of being who they truly are. Bruce Jenner is an icon and deserves our support, love, and kindness as he continues through this journey for years to come.
(Editor’s Note: Please know that the male pronouns used in this article were used for the sake of coherence.)
(Update June 1, 2015): Jenner has announced via his Vanity Fair cover shoot his female name, Caitlyn, adopting feminine pronouns once and for all.