Tag Archives: Bruce Jenner

Vanity Fair introduces Caitlyn Jenner on cover

Vanity Fair magazine on June 1 published a 22-page cover story introducing Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner.

Speaking publicly for the first time since making her gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics.

She tells Pulitzer Prize-winning V.F. contributing editor Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. …This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, OK. This is about your life.”

Jenner tells Bissinger about how she suffered a panic attack the day after undergoing 10-hour facial-feminization surgery on March 15 — a procedure she believed would take five hours. She recalls thinking, “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?”

A counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center came to the house so Jenner could talk to a professional and assured her that such reactions were often induced by pain medication, and that second-guessing was human and temporary.

Jenner tells Bissinger the thought has since passed and not come back: “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.”

Bissinger spent hundreds of hours with Jenner over a period of three months and also attended the photo shoot with Leibovitz at Jenner’s Malibu home.

Bissinger, in the story, apologizes to Jenner for repeated pronoun confusion and asks whether she is sensitive about it. “I don’t really get hung up,” she tells Bissinger. “A guy came in the other day and I was fully dressed — it’s just habit, I said, ‘Hi, Bruce here,’ and I went, Oh fuck, it ain’t Bruce, I was screwing up doing it.”

As part of the transition, Jenner started hosting small gatherings called “girls’ nights” with wine and food where Jenner could dress as desired and feel natural in the presence of women, and it was there that Jenner’s daughter Cassandra met Caitlyn for the first time.

“I was just nervous that I wouldn’t make her feel comfortable,” Cassandra tells Bissinger. “I was worried I wouldn’t say the right things or act the right way or seem relaxed.”

But almost all of it melted away when she got there. “We talked more than we ever have. We could just be girls together.”

Despite the renewed relationship with Jenner, the Jenner children have refused to participate in Caitlyn’s docu-series for the E! network, set to debut this summer. Initially, Caitlyn was “terribly disappointed and terribly hurt,” but has come to accept their decision. For her part, Caitlyn is prepared for the criticism that it’s a publicity stunt: “‘Oh, she’s doing a stupid reality show. She’s doing it for the money. She’s doing this, she’s doing that.’ I’m not doing it for money. I’m doing it to help my soul and help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. (I have) house payments and all that kind of stuff. I will never make an excuse for something like that. Yeah, this is a business. You don’t go out and change your gender for a television show. OK, it ain’t happening. I don’t care who you are.”

Jenner tells Bissinger that since the Diane Sawyer interview that aired on ABC “it’s exciting to go to the mailbox, because I get letters every day from all of these people from all over the world.” One of them was addressed “Bruce Jenner, Malibu, California,” as if she had become her own country.

Bissinger writes that Caitlyn seems happy and relaxed, with a sense of purpose and confidence. She can’t wait when she goes out now to tell the paparazzi to “make sure it’s a good shot,” instead of asking patrons to help shield her from them in the parking lot of the local Starbucks. She looks forward to more girls’ nights “where everybody is treating you the same way. You can talk about anything you want to talk about. You can talk about outfits. You can talk about hair and makeup, anything you want. It becomes not a big deal.” She says that on the E! series she will focus on ways of lowering the rates of suicide and attempted suicide in the transgender community, among other issues.

Jenner tells Bissinger that Bruce was “always telling lies.” She even describes doing public appearances after winning the gold medal, where “underneath my suit I have a bra and panty hose and this and that and thinking to myself, They know nothing about me. …Little did they know I was totally empty inside.” Caitlyn, she says, “doesn’t have any lies.”

“I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live,” Jenner tells Bissinger. She then jokes, “I’m not doing this so I can hit it off the women’s tee,” but she does tell Bissinger that on her E! show she plans to do a segment in which she sees if she can still hit a golf ball 300 yards off the tee, even with her very ample breasts.

Also in the story, Bissinger speaks at length with Jenner’s three ex-wives (including Kris about what she knew and when she knew it); with Jenner’s 89-year-old mother, Esther, about the possible motives behind Jenner’s transition; and with Jenner about how she was moved by Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk, and how she reacted to the Diane Sawyer interview.

On the Web …

To get special early access to the story and photographs before the issue hits newsstands on June 9, readers can subscribe to Vanity Fair’s digital edition on the iPhone or iPad.

Bruce Jenner: ‘I am a woman’

Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner told the world that “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman” in an extraordinary television interview aired Friday about gender confusion he first felt as a youngster trying on his mother’s and sister’s dresses.

The 1976 decathlon champion, known better to a new generation as the patriarch of television’s omnipresent Kardashian clan, took out his ponytail to let his long hair flow past his shoulders.

“I’m not this bad person,” said Jenner, who hoped the two-hour interview could help others struggling with gender identity issues. “I’m just doing what I have to do.”

The E! Entertainment network announced that Jenner would be part of a documentary series about the transition that would begin on July 26.

The two-hour interview with Diane Sawyer was filmed in February in Los Angeles and New York, before a fatal car accident in which Jenner was involved.

Jenner said he self-identifies as “her,” not a specific name. But he told Sawyer he felt comfortable using the pronouns “he” and “him,” a designation that is an important issue for many in the transgender community, which believes that transgender people should be referred to by the pronouns with which they choose to identify.

Jenner said his “brain is more female than it is male.” He said he began gender reassignment therapy in the 1980s — taking hormones, having surgery to make his nose smaller and having hair removed from his face and chest — but gave it up. As Jenner, 65, got older, he realized that if he got sick and faced death without facing up to this issue, “I’d be so mad that I didn’t explore that side of my life.”

As a young boy, Jenner felt an urge to try on his mother’s and sister’s dresses.

“I didn’t know why I was doing it,” he said. “It just made me feel good.”

Jenner said he has never been sexually attracted to men, and he wanted to make clear to viewers that gender identity and sexuality were separate things.

“I am not gay,” he said. “I am, as far as I know, heterosexual. I’ve always been with a woman, raising kids.”

Jenner said he has not decided whether he will undergo sexual reassignment surgery.

“These are all things that are out there in the future for me to explore,” he said. “There’s no rush for that. And I would do it so quietly that nobody in the world would know.”

Jenner’s four oldest children appeared on the interview special to support their father, but not the two girls he had with Kris Kardashian. He said his stepdaughter Kim has been a big supporter, urged on by husband Kanye West, but that his stepdaughter Khloe was taking it the hardest.

Jenner’s first two wives offered messages of support; Kris Kardashian told ABC she had no comment but tweeted after the interview aired, “Not only was I able to call him my husband for 25 years and father of my children, I am now able to call him my hero.”

Jenner told Sawyer that Kris was having a difficult time with it, and that if she better understood it, the couple would probably still be together.

Jenner’s 89-year-old mother also was interviewed, saying she was more proud of Bruce than when he stood as an Olympic champion in Montreal.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund offered a statement of congratulations to Jenner.

“We hope that Jenner inspires others to find the courage to be open about who they are,” said Michael Silverman, the fund’s executive director. “And we hope that Jenner’s message of authenticity and openness will shine a light on the unique challenges that transgender people face and help further equality.”

Jenner showed Sawyer a closet filled with dresses and men’s clothes. Sawyer said she had a private dinner with Jenner where he wore a dress, but the former Olympian did not appear in one in the ABC special.

Jenner said his two youngest daughters, suspecting that each other was secretly using her clothes, set up a computer to catch the other in the act — only to find out it was their father raiding their closets.

“I would like to think that we can save some lives here,” said Jenner, who admitted he once considered suicide at a low point when seen by paparazzi heading to a surgery to have his Adam’s apple shaved back. “I have a feeling this is my cause in life. This is why God put me on this Earth, to deal with this issue.”

Jenner comes out in ABC interview

In an extraordinary television interview, Bruce Jenner told the world he identifies as a woman and has felt gender confusion since childhood in the New York suburbs.

“Tonight Jenner shared her story with the world and, in doing so, brought viewers to a new level of understanding when it comes to transgender people,” said Jay Brown, director of public education and research for the Human Rights Campaign. “Her story touched on so many of the challenges we transgender people face — rejection, harassment, ridicule, and self-doubt.”

“But in the end, Jenner’s story is one of resiliency, faith, family, strength and love, and one that can inspire countless others to live their truth,” Brown said.

“Today, millions of people learned that someone they know is transgender,” said GLAAD president & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “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.”

“Every transgender person’s journey is unique, and by choosing to share this story, Bruce Jenner adds another layer to America’s understanding of what it means to be transgender,” said Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Programs, Transgender Media. “We hope that after hearing Jenner’s story, people will want to learn more about the issues and challenges facing their transgender friends, co-workers, and family members. Stories like these will help create a world in which everyone can express their gender identity without fear of discrimination and violence.”

GLAAD, with its statement, observed that Jenner has not requested that a new name or pronoun be used and in the interview said he was comfortable with male pronouns. GLAAD instructed journalists to use the pronouns and names the individual has requested.

“At this time, Bruce Jenner has not requested that a new name or pronoun be used, therefore we are respecting his wishes and will continue to refer to Jenner by his current name and with male pronouns. Some transgender people prefer to change their name and/or pronoun quickly. Other transgender people may take more time to decide what name and/or pronoun feels right to them. To be respectful, use the name and/or pronoun requested by the individual.”

Jenner let his hair down, literally loosening a ponytail, in a symbolic moment at the start of a two-hour interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer that was televised on April 24. “Yes, for all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” Jenner said.

For the transgender community, it was a moment as significant as Ellen DeGeneres’ coming out as a lesbian was for gays nearly 20 years ago. DeGeneres tweeted support to Jenner, saying the former Olympian was “saving lives and opening minds.”

“My whole life has been getting me ready for this,” said Jenner, 65, known to a younger generation as the patriarch of television’s omnipresent Kardashian clan. “It’s not just the last few years as they’ve been treating me as a joke.”

The interview was filmed in February in Los Angeles and New York, before a fatal car accident in which Jenner was involved.

Jenner self-identifies as “her,” not a specific name.

Jenner said his “brain is more female than it is male” and he began gender reassignment therapy in the 1980s — taking hormones, having surgery to diminish the nose and having hair removed from the face and chest – but gave it up. Jenner got older and realized that if he got sick and faced death without facing up to this issue, “I’d be so mad that I didn’t explore that side of my life.”

Jenner said he has not decided whether he will undergo surgery.

“These are all things that are out there in the future for me to explore,” Jenner said. “There’s no rush for that. And I would do it so quietly that nobody in the world would know.”

Jenner’s four oldest children appeared on the interview special for support, but not the two daughters Jenner had with Kris Kardashian. Jenner said stepdaughter Kim has been a big supporter, urged on by husband Kanye West, but stepdaughter Khloe was taking it the hardest.

Jenner’s first two wives offered messages of support; ABC said Kris Kardashian’s publicist called to specifically say Jenner’s third wife would have no comment. But Kardashian tweeted that no one had asked for comment and, after the interview aired, tweeted: “Not only was I able to call him my husband for 25 years and father of my children, I am now able to call him my hero.”

Jenner told Sawyer that Kris was having a difficult time with it, and that if he better understood it, the couple would probably still be together.

Jenner’s 89-year-old mother also was interviewed, saying she was more proud of Jenner than when the athlete stood as an Olympic champion in Montreal.

Hollywood offered support. “Tonight” show host Jimmy Fallon, echoing Neil Armstrong when the astronaut took his first steps on the moon, tweeted: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

“Today, millions of people learned that someone they know is transgender,” said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “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.”

“I would like to think that we can save some lives here,” said Jenner, who admitted considering suicide at a low point when seen by paparazzi heading to a surgery to have an Adam’s apple shaved back. “I have a feeling this is my cause in life. This is why God put me on this Earth, to deal with this issue.”

WiG contributed to this report.


ABC keeps tight lid on Jenner interview to air April 24

The first on-air promo for the April 24 broadcast interview with Bruce Jenner didn’t even show his face, an illustration of the line ABC News is walking in trying to drum up interest for the program while saying virtually nothing about it.

The two-hour interview special with the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and estranged patriarch of television’s Kardashian clan is expected to touch on transgenderism and reports that Jenner may be transitioning.

ABC has released only a couple of non-specific quotes by Jenner and is not expected to reveal much more in advance of the Friday program, preferring to give Jenner the opportunity to address the topic in the full context of the interview.

Diane Sawyer has not spoken to outside media about the interview, which was conducted in February — one day in Los Angeles, another in New York. She’s scheduled to promote it on ABC properties Friday: “Good Morning America,” `’Live with Kelly and Michael” and “The View.” ABC News executives also haven’t spoken about it, not even confirming publicly until April 6 that the interview had taken place, until this the airdate was set.

“In producing this special, one of our goals has been to respect Bruce’s story,” said ABC News spokesman Van Scott. “We want Bruce to speak for Bruce. We’ve had this top of mind throughout the process from the booking and interviews to the promotion and final product.”

The tight lid enables ABC to avoid the issue of potentially “outing” a public figure before the person has had a chance to publicly address the topic. Not everyone is waiting: The New York Daily News this week published a front-page picture of a person they said was Jenner wearing a dress.

“I respect the way that (ABC has) handled this,” said Brad Bessey, executive producer of “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider.” “You have to separate Bruce Jenner and Bruce’s story from the media circus that is the Kardashians.”

The approach has left his syndicated entertainment newsmagazines starved for news. Bessey said they’ve done stories on the three 15- or 30-second promos that ABC has released.

The first ABC promo showed two Jenner images — one from behind and the other from the side as he talked with Sawyer, his face obscured by shadows. In the other two, Jenner is heard more clearly, and with two soundbites. “My whole life has been getting ready for this,” he said. He also talks of the importance of not hurting his children.

ABC’s handling of the story so far has been respectful, said Nick Adams, program director of transgender media for GLAAD. The organization that represents gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders has spoken little about Jenner.

“Sharing one’s story is something a person should be allowed to do in their own time and in their own way,” Adams said. Media speculation about a public figure’s gender identity increases harmful scrutiny on other transgender people, he said.

The interview was conducted before Jenner was involved in an auto accident in which another motorist was killed. ABC is expected to address the topic, although the timing precludes it from being raised with Jenner.

Some of Jenner’s children, pictured in one of the promos, also are expected to be interviewed.

Bessey predicted big ratings for the special. ABC is airing it on a Friday night, when TV-watching is usually low. Two big interviews are among the top 100 most-watched telecasts of all time in the U.S.: Oprah Winfrey’s 1993 talk with Michael Jackson, seen in 36.6 million homes, and Barbara Walters’ 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky, seen in 33.2 million homes.

Friday’s interview likely won’t approach those numbers, but should certainly exceed the Friday “20/20” average of 6.2 million viewers this season.

“I think people will be watching,” Bessey said. “I hope they’ll be listening.”

Bruce Jenner deserves chance to tell own story

Bruce Jenner has been in the public eye since before winning the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He has continued living a high profile life on the reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which debuted in 2007.

It is not surprising that Jenner’s gender is also in the public eye — by Jenner’s choice and by the actions of others, who are commenting on and projecting about reality TV star’s physical appearance and possible gender-related trajectory. 

Celebrities are often scrutinized for their appearance. A choice of clothes on the red carpet. A new haircut. Facial expressions. Body size or shape. 

It is no wonder that when Jenner started to change in appearance, the media (as well as individuals consuming that media), felt entitled to make comments about Jenner’s appearance, choices and anticipated life direction.

Other people have been writing Jenner’s story. But it’s Jenner story. For some, stories unfold with words; for others, with actions. We have seen images that highlight the change in Jenner’s clothes, hair and other forms of expression. We don’t know more details of the story, because the central character hasn’t shared them — and we may not ever know.

What impact does Jenner’s public presence have on the trans, gender non-conforming, gender non-binary and SOFFA (significant others, friends, families and allies) community? What impact does Jenner have on people outside of the trans community?

It’s critical to keep in mind that no single person represents a community or identity. With that said, there are opportunities we can all take advantage of in creating meaningful dialogue and expanding our understanding and respect for each other.

What happens if Jenner’s media images stimulate people to have conversations that are specific to transness? Some of those conversations may start out in sensationalistic ways. Some will likely even be offensive. But what if those conversations — thousands of them — start to gradually shift the cultural norms and stigma surrounding gender, transness, non-binary realities and rights? What if people start to engage others in dialogue around the people in THEIR lives?

For example, what if a group of parents of third-graders begin talking about the boy in their children’s class who comes to school each day with a My Little Pony backpack, and that conversation leads them to recognize they should make sure this child is invited over for play dates? 

Or maybe a family sitting around the dinner table starts to ask each other with love and sincerity what they each might not be talking about, or what they might be worried about sharing. This family could open the doors to deeper intimacy and to each member living more authentic lives. 

Or maybe a trans support group starts talking about how there are different ways to come out.

Or maybe a conversation begins in a company’s human resources department about the disparities between those who are able to afford transition-related medical care and the awareness that some employees are not even able to access a therapist for depression, if that worker also is trans. 

Or maybe a church group expands the dialogue about #BlackLivesMatter to including discussion about #TransLivesMatter. 

Jenner can be a catalyst for change. Jenner can challenge us all to begin dialogues and listen to each others’ stories.

Reach out and start a conversation. 

michael munson is a co-founder of FORGE, a Milwaukee-based organization dedicated to moving fragmented communities beyond identity politics and forging a movement that embraces and empowers our diverse complexities.

Bruce Jenner unhurt in fatal Malibu crash

There’s no indication Bruce Jenner was being chased by paparazzi who were nearby when the SUV he was driving became involved in a four-vehicle crash that killed a woman, authorities told The Associated Press.

The Kardashian family patriarch and Olympic gold medalist wasn’t hurt, but seven people were taken to the hospital for evaluation after the crash that happened shortly after noon on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Philip Brooks.

The moment of impact was captured by celebrity photographers who quickly posted the images on the Internet, but Philips said there was no evidence Jenner was trying to get away from them.

“PCH is a straight road. There’s no place to go to evade,” Brooks said. “Being a celebrity, he’s often followed by the paparazzi and he’s aware of that. He was on his way home, and they happen to know his route.”

Brooks said Jenner cooperated with investigators, passed a field sobriety test and voluntarily submitted a blood sample to determine whether he was intoxicated.

“He did not appear intoxicated or under the influence of anything at the time,” Brooks said.

Jenner’s publicist Alan Nierob said Jenner wasn’t hurt, but he offered no additional details.

Jenner was going north when his black Cadillac Escalade rear-ended a Lexus sedan that had just struck the back of a black Toyota Prius, Brooks said. The Lexus veered into oncoming traffic in a southbound lane and collided head-on with a black Hummer.

The driver of the Lexus — a woman in her 70s — was pronounced dead at the scene.

Photos of the crash site showed the white Lexus mangled in the front and back, facing the Hummer, which had a heavily damaged engine and its hood popped open. Jenner’s Escalade, which was pulling an off-road vehicle, had a damaged front end.

The crash occurred about a mile west of Pepperdine University, on a stretch of road sandwiched between the beach and the Santa Monica Mountains.

It comes at a time of widespread talk that Jenner, 65, is transitioning to female.

Though Jenner himself has declined public comment, those in his inner circles have not challenged the mounting speculation that he is preparing to live as a woman and perhaps will appear in a new reality series about his transition.

Jenner’s appearance has gradually become more traditionally feminine, and his mother, Esther Jenner, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that she had spoken with her son about his private and public journey.

Jenner won a gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Games, but he is best known to a younger generation as Kim Kardashian’s stepfather. He and Kris Jenner frequently appeared on the reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians along with their children, and the pair’s relationship and its troubles have been featured prominently on the show.

The two finalized their divorce late last year, ending 23 years of marriage.

Bruce Jenner’s mom opens up about the celebrity’s gender journey

With speculation flying, Bruce Jenner’s mother opened up this week about the celebrity’s gender journey.

Esther Jenner, 88, has been besieged by calls from the media in recent days, but the widow in Lewiston, Idaho, isn’t interested in fueling gossip. Instead, in a wide-ranging, nearly hour-long phone interview, she praised the former Olympian son for courage, stopping short of some details that have been floated by unnamed sources online and in tabloids.

Bruce Jenner, who won gold as a decathlete in the 1976 Summer Games, has not publicly spoken about gender transitioning. Jenner’s appearance has gradually become more traditionally feminine. A publicist for the 65-year-old Jenner would not comment about Esther Jenner’s remarks. Nor would E! Entertainment on word that Jenner will appear in a reality series.

Highlights from Esther Jenner’s conversation with The Associated Press:

AP: Have you spoken to Bruce recently about his transition?

Jenner: It was brief and I said I was proud of him and that I’ll always love him. I never thought I could be more proud of Bruce when he reached his goal in 1976, but I’m more proud of him now. It takes a lot of courage to do what he’s doing.

AP: He has opened up in terms of his gender identity, which he is now owning, as opposed to hiding like so many transgender people have to do? Is that right?

Jenner: That’s absolutely right. He said, `Mom, I’m still the same person.’ He said, `I’m still going to race cars, I’m still going to fly airplanes and I’m going to get my helicopter license.’

AP: How did it feel for him to come to you and explain?

Jenner: When I first learned about it, yes, of course it was a surprise.

AP: In a lot of cases, families really suffer from that kind of announcement.

Jenner: The family is close and very supportive of Bruce and we’re supportive of each other.

AP: Was it a shock?

Jenner: It was a shock. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it.

AP How did he explain it to you?

Jenner: He said, `I want to be honest about my identity and I know this is coming out in the press.’ He started by saying, `We need to have a long, serious talk.’ I am at peace with what he is and what he’s doing.

Editor’s note: The gender specific pronouns are part of the interview and are quotes.




‘Family source’ confirms that Bruce Jenner is transitioning to female

Multiple media are reporting that Bruce Jenner is transitioning to female

A “family source” told People magazine the former Olympic star and Kardashian patriarch is in the process of making the change.

According to celebrity gossip show TMZ, the leak to People is the latest in a well-orchestrated plan to slowly roll out the 65-year-old’s true gender identity to the public.

“Our sources say Bruce is now far along in the process, has undergone various procedures and psychological counseling, and is ready to show his journey to the world,” TMZ reported.

Like Chaz Bono, Jenner is said to be filming a documentary about her transition that could air as early as May.

People reports that not all family members are on board with his plan, particularly ex-wife Kris Jenner.

A transgender leader told TMZ the family has known for “way more than a year” that Jenner was planning to transition, and some felt he should have announced it when he had a laryngal shave to erase the visibility of his Adam’s apple.

The Kardashians have long denied that Jenner is transitioning, but recently the family has changed its rhetoric, with Kim talking about Bruce’s “journey” on more than one occasion.

Kim has said that Jenner is “the happiest” she’s has ever known him, and she told Entertainment Tonight that he has the backing of all his family as he continues on “journey.”

People says to expect more and more family members to drop hints about Jenner in the coming months.