Why I Admire Bruce Jenner

I watched the Bruce Jenner and Diane Sawyer interview on Friday night.

I was surprisingly moved. I was sure I would be making Kardashian jokes but his message touched me because when your insides don’t match your outsides, life is hell. Haven’t we all had those days, maybe even those years. But imagine having to do it for your entire life? It must have been torture. Living a lie and hiding the real you from those that you love the most.

I admit, I mocked Bruce Jenner when I heard the rumors of him transitioning into a woman but it was because I didn’t understand his story. I’d never heard it. If just assumed that Kris had finally emasculated him one too many times and Bruce said, “Fuck it. Just cut “them” off I don’t want them anymore!” Then I heard him tell his story.

Bruce Jenner’s insides don’t match his outsides and they never have. This is something I know a little bit about. Over the years , I’ve spent a lot of years trying to hide who I am on the inside from people on the outside. Not for the same reasons as Bruce but sometimes I’d be so damn, unfoundedly moody that I was afraid of what people would do if they ever saw the real me. This part I totally get.

When I heard Bruce admit that he had told his previous wives of his lifelong feeling of living in the wrong body and had even began transitioning back in the 80s, before he met and fell in love with Kris, all I felt for this man was compassion and sadness. He was desperate to make his insides match his outsides. Don’t we all deserve to feel comfortable in our own skin? God, do I get that. But like most women, Kris ignored his warnings and thought she could change him even though he was in the middle of transitioning. He was serious about becoming the real him…her.

Bruce put off becoming who he really was because he loved Kris and when more children came along, he felt he owed it to them, as their dad, to be their “dad”. Bruce always put himself last and it almost killed him. He felt hopeless and desperate. There was even a moment after he told his family and decided to go for it that the paparazzi ridiculed him so badly that he went home from a would-be surgery appointment and instead considered just ending it all. The feeling of loneliness and utter desperation must have been overwhelming.

Finally, probably at the worst possible time because there was a giant glaring Kardashian spotlight on him, he took the leap of faith and decided that he needed to become who he truly is before he dies. He needed to become the woman he’s always been on the inside. He decided to take all the pain and consequences to become himself.

I’ll say it. I was wrong. Bruce Jenner is a brave, strong and amazing person. He loves his family so much that he always puts his own happiness on the back burner. If that doesn’t scream “woman” I don’t know what does. His interview with Diane Sawyer has forever altered the way I’ll think about Bruce Jenner. I don’t think of him as less of a man because of his courageous transition. I think of him as more of a person and I can’t wait to see what the real Bruce, happy and free to be completely herself, looks like and does with this second chance.

The bottom line is that we all have parts of us that we keep just for ourselves. I don’t think anyone’s insides match their outsides all the time but I think we at least deserve to feel comfortable in the skin we live in some of the time. Every day shouldn’t be a bad day that we have to face alone.

What do you think of Bruce Jenner and his transition?

 

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