Watching Bruce Jenner win the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics stands out in my memory. I’m not a decathlon fan, but something about Bruce caught my attention. Becoming “the greatest athlete in the world” was special.
After the Olympics, his star faded. Like most celebrity athletes, he turned up now and then for cameo appearances on television and in movies. I didn’t pay much attention to him.
The next time I noticed him was on the Kardashian’s reality show. I’m not a fan of the Kardashian clan, and have always wondered what they did to warrant so much attention. His connection to them came as a surprise.
I did catch a few episodes of the show. The shocker for me was what a wimp Bruce Jenner had become. The way the Kardashian women ran all over him was downright embarrassing. I blamed them for turning him into a bullock-less wimp.
Seeing the results of his plastic surgery made me think less of him too. For the greatest athlete in the world to subject himself to nose jobs, botox, and face-lifts diminished his stature. He became a laughingstock.
Rumors of his desire for sex reassignment surgery added fuel to the fire. I figured he’d spent too much time with the Kardashian women. Frankly, I suspected a publicity stunt.
When ABC started promoting the Bruce Jenner interview, I realized the rumors were true. Frankly, I was intrigued — but not in a good way. It was more like watching two trains heading for each other on the same track.
The two-hour interview was fascinating. I couldn’t look away. Within the first thirty minutes, my opinion of Bruce Jenner turned 180-degrees. The most touching parts, in my opinion, were the moments with his children — especially his son, Brandon. I ain’t gonna lie — I cried my eyes out.
I applaud Bruce Jenner for having the courage to come out in such a public way. With the paparazzi stalking him, he may not have had much choice. Still, throughout the interview, I was impressed with his dignity, sense of humor, and honesty.
For such a visible person to share such a deeply personal story has to make a difference. Granted, I was already on the accepting/tolerant end of the continuum related to transgender issues. Hopefully, more conservative types who caught the interview were changed too.
Well done, Bruce. Best wishes for the future, May you finally find the peace you’ve wanted for so long.