The Bruce Jenner interview with Dianne Sawyer was kind of amazing. Who would have thought anybody from the Kardashian clan could teach us something really important?
Bruce didn’t dodge any questions, didn’t allow silence to dominate, or shy away from giving full answers. He spoke honestly about a struggle that has plagued him since he was a kid. He spoke about dressing up in his mom and sister’s clothing at age 8, and not understanding why, but knowing it made him feel good. He spoke about his marriages, his sexual preferences, and his truth, which is that he feels inside he is a woman, and always has been.
To be born in the wrong body must be impossibly hard. But to be a high profile, public person, known as “the world’s greatest athlete,” starring in the biggest “reality” show on television, being part of the most public family in the country and feeling like you were born in the wrong body, must be like a small elf sitting just inside your head chipping away at your brain 24/7. As Bruce said last night, “I had the story. We’ve done 420 episodes, I think, and the entire run I kept thinking to myself … the one real true story in the family was the one I was hiding.”
It was his story, but now it’s our story. And it’s up to us to learn from Bruce Jenner more about what it’s like to be transgender. And I love that. That he is giving us the opportunity to learn from his pain, and his path. I love that he is no longer hiding, and is finally, this morning, living life as who he feels he is. I hope he feels a deep sense of freedom waking up today, knowing he no longer has to hide.
Bruce says he knows he is helping the LGBT community by coming out. But I think he’s also helping anyone who is struggling with being who they are. This may be a story about being transgender, but I think it’s really just a story about having the bravery to live your own life. Thanks, Bruce. By being who you are, you give us the courage and the permission to be who we are.