For the past 8 years, the Kardashian clan has reigned as one of the most infamous families in the world. Since the inception of reality series Keeping Up With the Kardashians aired on E! network in 2007, the family has been an integral staple of American pop culture. From Kim K’s dating life and whilwind affair with now husband Kanye West to the latest hastag trend #KylieJennerLipChallenge, the Kardashian-Jenner fixation won’t be going away anytime soon.
Given the opportunity to speak on issues that barely receive the media attention it deserves, former Olympian champion once dubbed the world’s greatest athlete and husband to Kris Jenner for 25 years, Bruce Jenner ( step father to Khloe, Rob, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, father to Kylie and Kendell Jenner and father of four from two previous marriages) used his* families’ platform to bring the topic of gender identity to the forefront of kitchen tables across the U.S.– with the large breadth the Kardashaian’s have, it’s safe to assume, some of which will be the first.
Over the past year, Jenner has had to face ridicule and speculation surrounding his personal life. He has been the center of headlining tabloid stories -some even going as far as photoshopping Jenner to appear more feminine.
In his two hour interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner finally broke the silence over speculation, confirming that he is transitioning to a woman-a move that Jenner says he has been preparing his entire life for. One of the more reserved members of the Kardashian-Jenner empire, Jenner was understandably emotional throughout the interview, opening up about aspects of himself he had only previously disclosed with close family members.
“We had done 425 episodes I think, over almost eight years, and 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.”
Jenner said he first began experiencing gender confusion when he was 8 years old, recalling the first time he remembered dressing in his mother and older sisters clothes when he was alone. “I don’t know why I was doing it aside from it making me feel good,” he said.
An estimated 700,000 Americans identify as transgendered, where a person’s self-identity does not conform to their assigned/biological sex. During the interview, Jenner noted that he is not attracted to men, noting that sexual identity differs from sexual orientation.
Navigating life on suface as a wealthy and celebrated white male will make Jenner’s life as a transgendered woman a stark contrast to the experiences faced among many in the transgendered community. Jenner said he cannot speak for all trans lives, but hopes his decision to come forward will help. “What I’m going to do is some good, and we’re going to firmly change the world.”
*Jenner wishes to be preferred to as ‘he’, ‘him ‘and other male gender pronouns until reemerging in his next public appearance as a woman.