“Yes, and for all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” Bruce Jenner announced to Diane Sawyer within the first five minutes of his highly anticipated “20/20” interview on Friday.
“It’s going to be tough. I’ve been thinking about this day forever and what I should do with my life … How do I tell people what I’ve been through? Today is that day, and I get to choose,” Jenner said during the sit-down, as he wiped away tears.
The announcement came after longtime speculation that the former Olympian was transitioning to female.
Among her early questions, Sawyer asked Jenner to clarify his sexuality. He (the pronoun Jenner prefers for the time being, according to the special) responded: “You’re going back to the sex thing, it’s apples or oranges. Sexuality is who you’re attracted to, who turns you on — gender identity is who you are, what is in your soul.”
As far as his sexual preferences are concerned, Jenner maintained, “I’m not gay.” When asked about the possibility of reassignment surgery, Jenner said “there’s no rush for that,” and that if and when the time came he would “do it quietly.”
While Bruce and third wife Kris Jenner divorced in 2014, he confessed, “I loved Kris, I had a wonderful life with her. I learned a lot from her.”
Sawyer didn’t shy in confronting Bruce about the validity of his marriage to the Kardashian matriarch, as well as previous marriages to Linda Thompson and Chrystie Jenner.
“Were you unfair?” Sawyer posed.
“No, I wasn’t as fair as I should have been,” Jenner said. “I’ve apologized to everyone, I’ve apologized enough for my entire life.”
The interview touched on several key points in Jenner’s personal history, like his resurgence of stardom thanks to family reality series “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”
“We’ve done 425 episodes, I think, over almost 8 years. Over the entire run, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Oh my god. This whole thing, the one real true story in the family was the one I was hiding and nobody knew about it,'” he said. “The one thing that could really make a difference in people’s lives was right here in my soul, and I couldn’t tell it.”
At the top of the special, Sawyer spoke about how different generations received Jenner: some know him as the patriarch of reality clan the Kardashians, and others a world class athlete. “God said, ‘Let’s give him the soul of a female, and let’s see how he deals with that’,” he said.
The broadcast included a brief history of Trans issues in the United States, chats with Jenner’s children from previous marriages and concluded with Sawyer revealing she and Jenner will reconvene in a year to track his progress.
While speculation said Jenner may have revealed himself in women’s clothing and disclosed his new name during the interview, neither came to fruition.
“My whole life has been getting me ready for this,” Jenner told Diane Sawyer in one of numerous teasers aired ahead of the special.
The two-hour special was long expected to be Jenner’s official announcement that he is undergoing gender reassignment, which had been widely speculated on for months.
David Sloan is the senior executive producer of the special. Mark Robertson and Jessica Velmans served as senior producers with lead producers Margaret Dawson and Sean Dooley for “20/20.”
Jenner has also made headlines this year for his involvement in a tragic car accident that left one dead and injured seven.