Will Bruce Jenner’s transgender story make a difference?
The interview with Bruce Jenner and Diane Sawyer that everyone is talking about. Image courtesy of ABC When ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked Bruce Jenner if he was going to be okay as he
transitioned to a woman, it brought me back to my pre-magazine life when I was a newly minted nurse. I was working at the Children’s Hospital in Calgary and was assigned to a patient who had been diagnosed with “Gender Identity Disorder.” It was my task to point out to him the "girlish" behaviours that were making him the target of ruthless bullying at school. I was to then role-play a more masculine option. #irony. I’m not sure I helped prepare him for the world—in fact, I may have only taught him to live what Jenner describes as a “lie.” I’ve often wondered how he/she has fared. I can only imagine how immensely grateful he/she might be to watch a former Olympic-gold-medal decathlete describe their shared experience—one that is lonely, confusing and complicated. Jenner’s son Brandon spoke of his dad’s desire to have the life he was “longing to live,” adding that he was now getting an “upgraded version” of his dad. Given Jenner’s Kardashian-clan-reality-star status, it wouldn’t be a stretch to view his intentions as merely promotional, but as he told Sawyer: "Have you any idea what I’ve been going through all my life, and I’m doing it for publicity for a show? Oh, my God.” Earlier, Jenner noted that “the one real true story in the family was the one” he was hiding. "The one thing that could really make a difference in people’s lives was in my soul, and I couldn’t say anything," he said. His story is out now, and I’m certain it will make a difference. It will save lives—for some young teens out there, it may be a lifeline that is far more therapeutic than learning how to camouflage their truth.
Jenna Talackova: Biography of a transgender model
Go behind the scenes of our shoot with A Brave New Girl Jenna Talackova