Bruce Jenner's Breakthrough: "For All Intents & Purposes, I Am A Woman"

Ed note: In the interview, Bruce Jenner told Diane Sawyer he identifies as a woman and wants to continue using male pronouns. It's our policy to call everyone by the pronouns they prefer, and so until Jenner tells us differently, we'll use "he" and "his" in our coverage. 

The tissues were out before they even began talking.

Within five minutes of Bruce Jenner’s highly anticipated interview with Diane Sawyer on April 24, the former Olympian was overcome with emotion.

“I would say I’ve always been very confused with my gender identity,” Jenner said, his hair still in a ponytail. He began telling Sawyer what he had already told each of his six children and four stepchildren. He imagines God creating him, and deciding, at the last minute, “Let’s give him the soul of a female and let’s see how he deals with that.”

Jenner, 65, answered honestly, when Sawyer asked him, “Are you a woman?”

“Yes,” Jenner replied. “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.”

After taking that first step, the reality dad that millions have fallen in love with — and just as many have ridiculed — decided to literally let down his hair. With his ponytail gone and his long-held secret revealed, Jenner finally seemed to relax.

“My whole life has been getting ready for this,” Jenner said. “I want to do the right thing and be true to myself.”

Sawyer and Jenner revisited his childhood home in Tarrytown, NY, where Jenner recalls trying on his mother’s dresses in secret. His past as the MVP of his high school basketball and football teams is very real, as was his obsessive training for the Olympics. Jenner says he was not only trying to prove his masculinity to the world, but to himself.

He started to explain why he decided to finally open up to Sawyer and, by extension, the world. “I just can’t pull the curtain any longer,” he said. “I’ve built a nice little life. I just can’t, again. Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie. I can’t do it anymore.”

Jenner uses “she” and “her” to describe his true self. But, as Sawyer clarifies, he specifically asked that she use the pronouns "he" and "him" throughout the interview. Jenner also says that he “always felt heterosexual.” He would envy men who were comfortable in their own skin. He envied women who could be themselves.

Of all his step-children, Jenner said, Kim Kardashian has been the most comfortable with his transition. And he credits her husband, Kanye West, for that. Jenner says that West told his wife, “I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am; I can have the most beautiful daughter in the world, and I have that; but I'm nothing, I can't be me if I can't be myself." 

Now, hopefully, hundreds of thousands will look up to Jenner. His bravery is the primary message throughout this groundbreaking interview, and he is sure to become an even bigger hero than he already was.