In case you missed it: Bruce Jenner
May 11, 2015
Thirty-nine years ago, Bruce Jenner earned the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete”, at the 1976 Olympic Games. With his infectious smile, charming personality and ability to slay his Soviet rival in a decathlon during the Cold War, Jenner became a real-life superhero for America. Because these games occurred nearly 40 years ago, many know Jenner primarily as the patriarch in the well-known Kardashian-Jenner family. For the past few years, his physical alterations and cosmetic procedures surprised many. To dispel the multitude of rumors circulating about his sexuality, Bruce Jenner sat down with television journalist Diane Sawyer for an interview in his Malibu home. In this wide-ranging interview, Jenner discussed his transformation into a woman and how his role as the “World’s Greatest Athlete” and “Wheaties Hunk” made it even more difficult to come out. Jenner confesses that the although the world views him in his macho image, his heart and soul lie in his “real” side – the side of a female.
“The world has many gender stereotypes,” sophomore Isabel Jarmel said. “It is already hard enough to change from a man to a woman, so I do not think it made that big of a difference that he was an Olympic athlete.”
Jenner knew he had the soul of a woman ever since he was a young child. Jenner denied this fact for many years to avoid complications in his life. He constantly fought the battle of either letting down society or taking off the mask he hid under for many years. Despite the fact that Jenner views himself as a woman, he explained that he still feels attraction toward women. He made it a point in this interview to emphasize the difference between gender and sexual attraction.
“[I consider] gender as a physical characteristic,” senior Austin Hernandez said. “Sexual attraction is a mental state.”
Although the LGBT community continues to grow in support, many still hold opposition toward transgenderism, with parents being the biggest obstacle. In most cases, the parents are either confused about what transgenderism actually is, or they deny the fact out of fear that their children would become labeled as “different” or “weird”. There is a suicide attempt rate at nearly 50 percent among transgender individuals, and with Jenner’s bravery, this issue can be addressed.
“Because many people didn’t expect a reality tv icon or an Olympic athlete like him to eventually become a transgender, it’s more likely for people to become more open minded and accepting of the fact that it’s the individual’s choice to go forward with the process, and if it’s what makes them happy,” junior Andrea Guevara said. “We should all accept it.”