In April 2015, over 20 million people watched Caitlyn Jenner -- still known then to the public as Bruce -- come out as transgender to Diane Sawyer in a 20/20 interview special, becoming one of the most high-profile transgender personalities in the U.S. (It was a month later that Jenner debuted her name and physical transformation on the cover of Vanity Fair.)
The interview was not only a huge moment for the transgender community, but also for Jenner and her family, who sat beside her to watch the special unfold on TV. “Alright, so there I am. I’m sitting on this couch and Diane Sawyer is coming on. My young kids, especially Kendall and Kylie, they don’t want anybody to hurt their daddy,” Jenner recalls in an exclusive outtake from HBO’s new documentary The Trans List, premiering on Monday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. ET.
“Now, I’m sitting on the couch with all my girls -- Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie -- this is by far the most social media family in the world. They can sit there with their little phones and reach 140 million people all over the world.”
Within just a few minutes of coming out, reactions from the likes of Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Elton John start flooding Twitter. “They were all just going crazy on social media,” Jenner says, reflecting on its power to help her daughters accept her transition. “I think at that point it made my two little girls, who obviously live in that world -- I think it made them feel really good. Like, ‘You know what? It’s going to be OK. People still love my daddy.’”
The watershed moment is one of many reflected upon in the documentary directed by filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and featuring interviews by Janet Mock, who speaks with leaders of the community including former Playboy model Caroline Cossey, adult entertainer Buck Angel, activist and Stonewall riots participant Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Emmy nominee Laverne Cox. The Trans List will let the 11 transgender individuals featured in the film tell their stories of identity, career, love and struggle.
For Jenner, that’s included a publicly documented transition, from the 20/20 special to the covers of Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated and her short-lived docuseries, I Am Cait. This year, she appeared on season three of Amazon’s Transparent, a story that coincidentally aligned with Jenner’s journey and helped her family figure out her transition.
“Transparent has really brought this issue forward. It's a subject that affects so many families around the world. It is so great to keep this conversation moving in the right direction. Nobody does it better than Transparent in such an entertaining and thoughtful way,” Jenner told ET in September, adding that she hoped her kids would watch the new season.