We also learned quite a few things about Bruce’s journey and the challenges he’s faced in his life while struggling with internal conflict and confusion. Here are eight of the most surprising moments from part one:
1. Bruce Wants the Special to Help People
At the beginning of this two-part Keeping Up With the Kardashians special, a message, written by Bruce, appeared as text at the beginning of the show. It explained that all footage and interviews were shot prior to his sit-down with Diane Sawyer.
More importantly, the message explained that the purpose of this special is to provide insight into what a family goes through when a member comes out as transgender, so that other families dealing with similar situations can find comfort, strength and deeper insight. It gave a kind face to a special that some worried may have been exploitative.
2. Bruce’s Kids Thought He Was Having an Affair
Kendall Jenner mentions that, a few years ago, she found lipstick in Bruce’s room and figured that her father was having an affair, but was too worried about ruining her parents’ marriage to tell Kris. Similarly, Kim revealed that she once saw Bruce in a dress 12 years ago. She ran so he wouldn’t know she saw him, and the only person she told was her sister Kourtney. The sisters apparently kept the secret to avoid conflict and to keep Kris from getting hurt.
3. Bruce Spoke to Each of His Kids Individually
To make sure that he made everyone feel comfortable and that everyone felt open with him, Bruce apparently sat down and shared his feelings with each of his kids separately. But as we learned later, he may not have been as clear as he thought he was, or as Khloe suggests he may have purposely misled them to avoid conflict.
We learned that Bruce never told his children that he was planning on having a big, revealing sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer until weeks before it was conducted. According to the special, Bruce may have kept it a secret to avoid making his family uncomfortable, or because he didn’t want to confront them.
5. Bruce Managed to Silence a Journalist Years Ago
As revealed in the special, Bruce once hired a publicist for the sole purpose of keeping his secret. Apparently, a reporter once saw Bruce dressed as a woman in the ‘80s, and was planning on writing up a story about it. Bruce and his publicist came to the reporter and begged him to not write the story, and the reporter agreed. As Kim said, the media was a lot different back then.
6. Khloe and the Kids Didn’t Understand Bruce’s Situation
At one point, Khloe and Kendall explain to Bruce that they thought he was a “cross dresser,” and didn’t understand the full nature of the situation. They also become increasingly agitated and angry at the idea that the person they consider to be their father isn’t going to there anymore. Bruce tried to explain the true nature of what he’s going through, but it proved difficult for his daughters to understand.
In fact, Bruce even compared coming out as transgender to losing a family member, saying that some people feel that it’s like a death in the family. However, he explained to his kids that he will still be himself.
7. Bruce Had More Plastic Surgery Than Some May Have Realized
When sitting with his children, Bruce started explaining the extent to which he’s changed his face, including a nose job and an upper lip lift. He’s also planning a forehead alteration, and even a procedure to change the shape of his jaw. It was another revelation that made Khloe angry, as it indicated that Bruce had been planning his gender transition for longer than he had told them. Khloe spent most of the episode feeling angry and betrayed, but as Bruce explained, he welcomed the reaction as a way of showing other families watching the special the myriad ways that people react.
8. Bruce Felt Really Strongly About Hair Cuts
It was revealed that Bruce hated haircuts so much more than anyone would have imagined. As he said, his soul had long hair, but he felt pressured by society to keep his hair short, and haircuts always left him feeling conflicted, angry, and unhappy. The experience was so bad for him, he said that the days he had to get haircuts were the worst days of his life.
In the end, the family is left confused and conflicted, but it’s clear that there’s a lot of love for their father, and a lot of support for what makes him happy. Part two of the About Bruce special airs Monday, May 18 at 9p.m.