On Friday, 65-year-old Olympian Bruce Jenner definitively answered a number of questions regarding his gender identity in a sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer for a special edition of 20/20, called Bruce Jenner: The Interview.
As reactions and messages of love
and support came in from Bruce's family, loved ones, and the transgender community at large, here are the 12 biggest revelations from Bruce Jenner's interview.
1. All the family's different reactions.
Between the Jenners and the Kardashians, Bruce has 10 children who all learned about and processed their father's gender identity in their own way.
Their thoughts and feelings are what is most important to Bruce.
"Those are the only ones I’m concerned with and… I can’t let myself hurt them,” Jenner said.
Bruce's 33-year-old son Brandon was the first he told. He admits that while it was shocking at first, he is more proud of Bruce than he has ever been.
"I saw a sense of bravery that, for all of your previous accomplishments, I think far exceeds all of them," said Brandon.
Following the interview, Kylie and Kendall both shared
their love for Bruce.
And while the Kardashian sisters cried at first when Bruce told them, Kim credits her husband
Kanye West for helping her understand.
"They were talking about it and [Kanye] says to Kim, 'Look, I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, and I have that. But I'm nothing if I can’t be me. If I can’t be true to myself, they don’t mean anything,'" Jenner explained. "Since then, Kimberly has been by far the most accepting, and the easiest to talk to about it."
2. Sexual orientation and gender identity are not the same.
Bruce, who has been married three times, all to women, came back to this message again, and again.
"You're going back to the sex thing and it's apples and oranges," Bruce said. "Sexuality is who you are personally attracted to, what turns you on -- male or female. But gender identity is how to deal with who you are as a person and your soul and who you identify with inside."
"I never was attracted to the guys," said Bruce, later adding, "I'm not gay. I am as far as I know, heterosexual."
And then he told Sawyer, "Let's go with asexual." "I am going to learn a lot in the next year."
3. All of Bruce's wives knew about his gender identity.
Bruce's wives all found out at separate times what the person they loved was dealing with – but he didn’t keep it a secret from any of them. Bruce sought out therapy with his second wife, Linda, where they learned that Bruce's gender identity was very real, and not a choice.
When it comes to Kris, Bruce admits he "downplayed" it some.
I had been on hormones for five years and it was a solid 36B something, so you really can't you know, you can't hide those things. She she goes, 'Well you know, ok. You like to wear women's clothes?'" said Bruce. "I kind of downplayed it."
Diane Sawyer asked Bruce if he was fair to the women he married.
"I wasn't as fair as I should have been," answered Bruce.
4. At one point, Bruce considered suicide.
A year and a half ago, following a medical appointment for a tracheal shave operation that was crashed by paparazzi, Bruce hit a low.
"I thought, 'It's like over,'" admits Bruce. "Then I thought, 'Wouldn't the easiest thing to be right now--' And I could see where people get to that. Go into the room. Got a gun. Boom. You know? Pain is over. It's done. You know. Go to a better place."
Thankfully, Bruce found courage in this moment.
"Then I thought, 'I can't do something like that.'" said Bruce. "I want to know how this story ends."
5. Bruce's mom reacts to his gender identity, but his father never had the chance.
One of the most tearjerking moments of the interview was when Jenner's 89-year-old conservative mother Esther gave her message to Bruce.
"I was very proud of you when you stood on that podium in Montreal," said Esther. "I never thought I could be more proud of you but I am learning I can be."
Bruce's father died 14 years ago. Admittedly, Bruce harbors regret over not ever telling him.
"Wonderful human being. He loved me. I wish I would have told him," says Bruce of his late father. "It would have been tougher for him than probably anybody."
6. Even as a kid Bruce knew.
At 8 or 9 years old, Bruce first found himself desiring to put on his mother's dresses.
"I marked the closet so that when I put it back I could put it all back in the exact same spot so I wouldn't get caught," said Bruce. "At that time I didn't know why I was doing it. Besides that it just made me feel good.”
7. Bruce has been on estrogen hormones before.
Bruce initially started on estrogen treatments in the 1980's.
"I did it almost five years," said Bruce.
8. Bruce identifies as a conservative.
When Diane Sawyer brought up President Obama being the first president to ever use the word "transgender" in a speech, Bruce said that while the president deserves credit for that, he doesn’t consider himself a Democrat.
"I'm more on the conservative side," said Bruce.
While support for this issue may be harder to come by in the Republican party in Washington, Bruce said he would absolutely ask Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. John Boehner to help champion this issue.
"I think they'd be very receptive to it," said Bruce.
9. Bruce showed Diane the dress he will wear to their private dinner.
Bruce invited Diane to see the dress, which he then wore to a will be worn during their private, off-camera dinner together.
"And the good news, Diane, you won't be the tallest girl in the room," joked Bruce. "Isn't that wonderful. "
10. Bruce chose not to reveal the name.
Diane asked but Bruce declined for now.
"If I do the media will go crazy and would never get rid of them," said Bruce. "I still have a little bit of time."
11. E! will produce a documentary series following Bruce's life as a transgender woman.
The eight-part, untitled series will premiere Sunday, July 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on E!
12. Overall, Diane Sawyer did a great job.
When everyone was watching, Diane's interview was thorough, substantive, and thoughtful. Hats off.
As the interview came to a close, Bruce had a simple request for all of us.
"Have an open mind and an open heart," asked Bruce. "I'm just doing what I have to do."
Congratulations, Bruce. You are doing this on your own terms.
As Jenner has not yet said that a new name or pronouns should be used, ETonline will follow GLAAD's guidelines
and continue to refer to him by his current name and male pronouns.
ET has been with Bruce for so many milestones up to this moment. Watch the video below for Bruce in his own words.