On Friday, Bruce Jenner did an interview with Diane Sawyer. He spoke very courageously for the first time about his transition to becoming a woman. There had been speculation for quite some time prior; however, this was the first time he confirmed it publicly.
He didn’t speak about shame per say but he did say that he didn’t come out prior because he had been an Olympian and felt that he would let people down including his children. He spoke about how he tried to overcompensate for his masculinity as a way to hide is true female identification.
For someone who is a former Olympic athlete, a dedicated hero and a reality tv celebrity to come out and speak about his transition with such honesty and vulnerability takes courage.
Is courage the antidote for shame? It takes courage to speak up about the things we simply want to hide and hope will go away and are afraid to face. In the interview, his demeanour evolved. In the beginning, he was apprehensive and hesitant; and by the end, it almost seemed like he was a completely different person. He seemed self assured, confident and more importantly happy. It’s as if by him revealing his true identity to the world had allowed his true self to emerge. He no longer had to hide. He’s very fortunate that he has such incredible support in his life from his friends and family and that is all anyone can really ask for. By him having the courage to speak about this, allowed his family the opportunity to show him just how much they really love him and want him to be happy; as acceptance is a barometer of love. His courage to share, allows him to experience the world in a completely different way.
In his words, that was his last interview as Bruce Jenner. Going forward, he will be embodying his true self. I hope the courage he demonstrated in coming out, gives other people who are struggling with similar issues, the permission to do the same.
Note: In the above blog, the pronoun he was used along with his current name because interview was done as Bruce and he has not yet requested to be referred to by a new name or different pronoun.