Tonight on ABC the highly anticipated Diane Sawyer Bruce Jenner – The Interview airs with an all new Friday April 24, 2-hour special and we have your recap below. On this evening’s episode, Diane Sawyer chats with former Olympian Bruce Jenner about his life and his career.
Who doesn’t know Bruce Jenner, he is father to reality stars Kendall and Kyle Jenner, the step father to Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Rob Kardashian and the former husband of Kris Jenner. Prior to Kris Bruce was married twice and has four children from those marriages. Bruce, 65, will become the most high-profile American to come out as transgender with his addressing the questions and rumours that have been circulating for months.
On tonight’s episode as per the ABC synopsis, “Diane Sawyer will be sitting down with former Olympian Bruce Jenner and talking about his career along with his life. They’ll also be getting to the topic of his decision to transition to the opposite gender.”
Tonight’s 2-hour special airs at 9 PM EST on ABC and we’ll be recapping it right here for you but in the meantime feel free to hit up the comments now and tell us your expectations for the interview and come back to CDL for more information after the show.
Tonight’s episode begins now – Refresh Page often to get the most current updates!
It’s the #BruceJennerABC interview. Diane Sawyer is interviewing Bruce Jenner about his big life changes. She says older people remember him as a superstar athlete who won the gold in the decathlon. For younger people, he’s the dad on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Bruce welcomes her into the house in Malibu. She says he’s a quiet person to talk with and he says let’s do it.
Bruce gets sort of teary and says this will be tough. He says he’s been thinking about this day forever and what he should do with his life. He talks about how he tells his story and what he’s been through. He grabs a tissue. He says he’s been honest with his family and everyone involved and says he’s still there. He says it’s funny that he of all people is dealing with these issues.
He says he’s always been very confused with his gender identity since he was a child. He says he explained it to all his kids and says God is looking down making little Bruce. He says he got a lot of wonderful qualities then he needs to give him some issues to deal with and let’s give him the soul of a female and see how he deals with that.
Bruce says he doesn’t like the terminology of a girl stuck in a guy’s body and says he’s not stuck in anyone’s body, but this is who he is as a human. He says his brain is more female than male and his soul as well. He says he was living a lie his whole life about who he was and says he can’t do that anymore. He pulls out his ponytail and shows off his long hair.
Diane asks if he’s a woman. Bruce says for all intents and purposes, yes. He says he was always seen as such a macho guy. He says he still has all the male parts but says he identifies as female. He says he doesn’t want to disappoint people. We see flashback to when he was a musclebound jock at the 1976 Olympics. He won the decathlon – the hardest Olympic event by most estimates.
We see him complete his 10th event and the other athletes collapsed while he took a victory lap as the greatest athlete in the world. She looks at a photo of him winning the last event. He says he was confused even then, was scared and didn’t know what his future held. He says that’s his me and her. He says you can kick butt and identify as a woman.
He wrestled with his inner conflict, raising children and marriages. Then he was on the reality show. Diane says people think it’s a stunt to promote the show and he laughs and jokes. He asks if he would go through a complete gender change for TV. He says there are lots of shows and says he sees where she’s coming from.
Bruce says what he’s doing is going to do some good and will change the world. He says he can do something good with this. Diane says there are 700,000 transgender Americans and many suffer ridicule and bullying. Bruce says he hopes his decision to come forward will help others. He says his whole life has been preparing him for this.
He says he wants to do the right thing and be true to himself. She says this is his last TV interview as Bruce and says he will re-emerge as “her.” Diane asks why now at 65 and Bruce says he can’t pull the curtain anymore. He says “she” is not a lie and he can’t do it anymore. Diane and Bruce go to his hometown of Tarrytown, New York.
Home movies show a young boy with a passion for sports. He hasn’t been back in a long time. His dad was a tree surgeon and his mom was a housewife. There were four siblings and they had a tight family. His dad called him bruiser for being so physical. Bruce says when he was eight or nine, he wanted to put on a dress. He says he put a dress on but was careful to put it back in the same spot so he didn’t get caught.
Bruce says it just made him feel good but he doesn’t know why he was doing it. He points out their apartment. He snuck out wearing a dress with a scarf over his head to cover his short hair. He says he had no idea what he was feeling and says there was no place to get information. Diane says it was the Eisenhower era. Bruce also had severe dyslexia.
He routinely snuck out wearing his sister’s dresses and mom’s scarf. He says he was a lonely little boy and says he’s still lonely. He says he doesn’t socialize a lot even now and says he doesn’t fit in. He says you don’t fit in with this issue. He says he plays golf alone and says he sees men comfortable in their own skin and women who can wake up and be themselves.
He says he’s stuck in the middle and has nowhere to go. Bruce says by his adolescence, he was clear on his sexual orientation and says he was always attracted to women. He says sexuality was not the issue and he always felt heterosexual. He was a huge athlete in high school in basketball, football and track. He was in the 1972 Olympics but came in 10th in the decathlon.
He vowed to win next time to prove his masculinity. We see a video 10 for Gold where he was bulked up and muscular. He jokes that he didn’t go out in a dress then because he looked terrible because he was so muscular. We see his college sweetheart Christy Crownover that was his first wife. They were married when he went to the 1976 Olympics. Bruce says this is the one thing that has stayed with him his whole life.
We see a clip of Bruce facing off against a Russian competitor. He was 26 at the time he won the gold. He and Diane look at the clip of Bruce setting the world record. His wife Christy came down from the stands. Bruce says he ran into Nikolai, his Olympics nemesis and says the guy has gotten overweight and out of shape and says he won that battle too.
Bruce says when he took the stands to get the medal, he was thinking about all the other issues to deal with in his life. He then enjoyed sudden fame and he enjoyed a ton of endorsements. We see his Wheaties commercial and box. He went on Johnny Carson to talk about how women think he’s sexy and he says he’s too naïve to notice women checking him out.
About a year into their marriage, Bruce told Christy about his gender issues. He says he didn’t go into it very heavily. He says he told her he did a little cross dressing. Diane says cross dressing and transgender is not the same thing. He says Christy accepted him and says she thought he could fix it – he says he never really didn’t tell her he didn’t know he was going to make it as a male gender.
After six years of marriage, they had son Burt and they got pregnant again but were separating because he was restless in the marriage. He fell for Linda Thompson, an ex of Elvis. Diane says people don’t understand if he’s gay. Bruce says he’s not gay at all. He says as far as he knows he’s straight. He says he’s never been with a man. Diane asks if he’s a lesbian or a heterosexual who…
Bruce says it’s apples and oranges. He says sexuality and gender identity are different. Diane quotes a writer who says sexual desire is who you go to bed with and gender is who you go to bed as. With Linda, Bruce had sons Brody and Brandon. He says he told Linda about his gender issues and she realized it was not an issue he could overcome. He says his gender was a big part of his second divorce.
Diane asks if he was fair to his wives and he says he wasn’t as fair as he could have been. Bruce says he’s apologized to them and says he was fighting the problem but falling apart. He says he was fighting depression and seeing his income drop. He started transitioning after his second divorce. He says this was in the 80s and he immediately felt better about life.
He says he did it for almost five years and also got plastic surgery then electrolysis to remove hair from his face and chest. He talked to his older sister Pam about what he was going through. She says she was totally shocked when he told her that he always thought he should be a girl. She says he told her he used to dress up his clothes. She says her big, gorgeous brother thought he was a girl.
Pam says she cried all the way home from the dinner when he told her. She says the tears were mostly for him and the pain he experienced as a child. She says they didn’t talk about it again and says she never told anyone for more than 30 years. Pam says she thought it was up to Bruce to choose to talk to her about it and thought it might be a passing phase and thought maybe he has counseling.
Now Pam says she knows you don’t get over this. Diane says go to www.abcnews.com/2020 to learn more about transgender and terminology to use. She says, for now, Bruce wants to be referred to as him and he.
Bruce talks about how this is not an issue for most men and women and they know who they are when they look in the mirror. He says it’s not easy being Bruce. Diane asks if he dreams as woman. He says he does. We see some different people who have dealt with gender identities including Chaz Bono. He says he tried to tell his mother and she thought it was her fault.
Dr Diane Olsen, a pediatrician who works with gender identity says kids are born this way. She helps parents understand and says parental blame is a first reaction. She says it’s not a mental illness. Bruce agrees that shrinks can’t fix this. Dr Olson says gender lives in the brain, not the genitals. She says the youngest kid she’s seen with gender identity issues was 18 months saying “I a boy.”
She also says most small children play across gender lines but don’t truly have gender dysphoria. Dr Norman Spack says only a small percentage of children will continue to have true gender conflicts. He says of those with gender crises, 45% will attempt suicide. Bruce channeled his issues into athletics. We see a former Navy Seal now transitioned to be called Kristin Beck who says he channeled it into his duty.
Bruce says he stopped his transition in the 80s because of concerns for his children and his religious beliefs. We see a scripture from Deuteronomy about men not dressing as women. Bruce says he stopped the transition and went back to making motivational speeches and living as a man. Bruce says he would walk off the stage and feel like a liar.
He says he would walk around in a dress as a woman. He talks about the Opryland Hotel and walking around there as a woman. Then we see Bruce and Kris when they first got together. Diane asks if he’s sorry he did the Kardashian TV show. He laughs and says he had the bigger story.
Next is more about Kris Jenner and her tasks as momager. 25 years ago, she was going through a divorce and worried about money when she met Bruce. He says she was like an angel and says he had been on hormones for five years and had a 36B chest. He says he told her and she was okay with it. He says he downplayed it more that he just liked to wear women’s clothing.
Bruce says Kris saw him dressed as a woman and would just ask if he was going to change. Bruce says he didn’t really explain that it was more and was gender. He says this is not an issue you can’t walk away from. He says you can’t take two aspirin and cure it. As his manager, Kris made him a household name again. Then we see Kris pregnant and smiling. Bruce says they had 23 great years.
He says their kids are phenomenal and he tried hard even though he was still tormented about his gender. He says 16 years into the marriage, Kris negotiated the reality show deal and they were making a ton of money from endorsements, beauty products, clothing lines, mobile apps and spin off shows. Bruce’s fame helped to launch the show but then he kind of gave up and drifted away.
Diane says Esquire said he was cast as the guy that had to lose. Bruce says he loved Kris and had a wonderful life with her and learned a lot from her. He says he thought they had a pretty good sex life but maybe it was better than he thought. Diane asks if he’s sorry he did the show. Bruce says he was the one with the story and says they did 425 episodes over eight years.
Bruce says during the whole thing he thought, the one real true story in the family is the one he was hiding and no one knew. He says he knew it could make a difference in other people’s lives but he couldn’t tell anyone. He says in his 60s, his finances were recovered and his kids were all pretty much grown. He says he didn’t want to die in the wrong skin.
He says he would have been mad at himself for not exploring that side of him. He knew he wanted to really transition. First it was the hair, fingernails, then the cracks in the marriage. He says it was tough on Kris. He says she’s a good woman and a good person. He says if she had been okay with it, they would still be together. Behind his closed doors at his new house, he has girl parties with friends who know.
But then paparazzi begin to stalk and taunt him. He says they even put a GPS tracker on his car. He says he went to get a tracheal shave a year and a half ago and someone leaked the appointment and the paps were waiting. He says he thought that night that it was over. He says the easiest thing wold be for him to just kill himself and end the pain. He says he’d be in a better place.
Then Bruce says he wants to know how this story ends. Diane says they reached out to all his ex-wives. Linda Thompson says she supports him and hopes people are kind. Christy, his first wife, says she prays for happiness for him in his journey. Kris had no comment.
We see video of Bruce playing with his kids happily when they were little. He was a dream dad. We see him holding Kylie and Kendall in the pool and out doing stuff with his kids. He has six kids, two with each wife plus the four step-kids that are all Kardashians. That’s 10 kids in all. He says he was terrified to tell his kids and says those were the only people he was concerned with and didn’t want to hurt them.
Bruce says he wondered how to do it without hurting them. He says he explained that his female side helped raise them too and he’s not going anywhere. He first told son Brandon. He says Brandon is like their Gandhi. Brandon says his dad didn’t do it perfectly and says he knew it was difficult. He says it’s tragic how long his dad dealt with this and the life he was longing to live.
He says he saw little clothes. Brandon says when his dad told him he needed to transition, he says he felt relief and is getting an upgraded version of his dad. Diane says he seems very positive. Brandon says there are parts that aren’t easy and he’s not handling it perfectly but is doing his best to cope. He says when he sees his dad as a woman, it’s a little shocking at first.
Diane asks Bruce if it embarrasses his kids. The four older Jenner kids show up together to talk about it. Brody says when his dad told him, it all made sense. Burt says he didn’t know anything about gender struggle. He says he remembers being afraid his dad was going to turn into a woman and he’d never see him again. Cassandra says she asked what they should call him and he says to always call him dad.
The four oldest have all seen Bruce as “her” and Cassandra says he’s spent his whole life dressing as a man. Burt jokes that he and his dad all call each other big guy and he wonders about that. Brandon says people would see his name on his little league uniform and would ask if Bruce was his dad. He says people would light up like he’s a hero.
Brandon sits with Bruce and says his dad is brave and says this far exceeds all his other accomplishments. We now see the four Kardashian girls and the two teen titan Jenners. A decade ago, they were all just kids who called him Bruiser and welcomed Kylie and Kendall to the family. We see clips from the show and then Bruce says he raised 10 kids with millions of miles of carpools.
He says he was trying to spare his kids the secret. He says he told Kimberly first when she caught him in a dress and she didn’t say anything. He says they never talked about it again until a few years ago then she asked him what was going on. He says he told her all the gender issues he was dealing with and then said she didn’t talk to him about it again.
He says Kendall and Kylie caught him in a dress because they had a computer camera set up in their closet because one thought the other was stealing clothes. He says they never talked about it either. Then he says he called the girls and Rob in and told them he wanted to transition. He says they all cried and says they didn’t want him hurt.
He says Khloe is taking it very hard and says she’s fun and open-minded but says she’s had the toughest time with it because of all the losses she’s had in her life. She lost her dad suddenly, then lost Lamar. She told him he’s the only man in her life that has always been there for her. He says she feels like she’s losing her dad and he says he told her he would still be there.
He says Kourtney’s real concern was her kids but he says younger kids are very adaptable. He says the girls were reluctant to see “her.” He says it’s tough on them then says Kim had a breakthrough about it. He says she came to him and said she turned around on the issue because of Kanye. She said Kanye told her that he’s married to the most beautiful woman in the world and have the most beautiful child but would have nothing if he couldn’t be true to himself and be him.
Bruce says he was surprised and says since then, Kim has been the most accepting and the easiest to talk to. He says Kim told him he needed to rock it and look good. He says Kim told him she would help him so he could look good. Kendall and Kylie told Diane they just want their dad to be happy.
Diane says 87% of Americans say they know someone who is gay but only 8% say they know a transgender person. In 1952, American was stunned that a soldier named George had surgery in Denmark and came home as a woman. We see an old film reel of her after her transition. In 1977, Renee Richards was a transgender tennis player who fought for the right to play as a woman. Time Magazine has called this the Transgender Tipping point.
There have been people testifying before Congress about it. Geena Rocero does a TED talk on how excited she was to get her drivers license saying she was a woman at last. Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black and Jeffrey Tambor won accolades for Transparent. Then we see a shot of Glee with the largest transgender choir ever assembled.
Then we see Bruce running from paparazzi and all the jokes. Some in the transgender community worry that he will be bad for them. Bruce says he hopes he doesn’t derail their progress and says he wants to work with the community but says he’s not a spokesman for them. He says the suicide and murder rates are so high. He says the black women transgenders suffer the most.
There have been seven murders of transgenders in the past year alone. Around the world, they have been stoned and burned. On TV, people are taking sides. Online, many kids are crying for help. We see one guy who says he wishes he could be born again in the body he should have been. Two killed themselves in North Carolina this year. Another girl says she killed herself because her family rejected her.
Bruce says he thinks there are lives to be saved here. 32 states have no laws protecting prejudice in employment against transgenders. Diane asks if he liked that Obama was the first president to say the word transgender. Bruce says he gives him credit for that but says in general he’s more conservative politically. Diane asks if Republicans might be disturbed. He says he doesn’t think so.
He says he would go to Republican leaders and ask them to champion this cause. One gay author says she came out to her conservative, religious, Republican mother and she showed her nothing but love. Bruce says he’s a Christian and would wonder how God saw him. He says he thinks this may be his cause in life and why God put him here. He says it gave him a lot of courage.
We see a video of homecoming and a transgender girl won homecoming and how emotional she was about it.
We see Bruce out flying his helicopter and racing cars. He says Kim asked if he’s a tomboy and he says he could be but never thought about it. He says he’s going to re-emerge as himself. Diane asks if he has a song that plays in his head for that moment. He sings “She’s a lady…” She asks about his perfect day and Bruce says spent with friends, going to the grocery store and not being hassled.
Diane asks if people have the right to ask and Bruce says it depends on how they approach him but says he just wants to blend in. She asks if he has a name for her and he says no because the media would go crazy. He says he has plenty of money for the transition and says face, breasts and all that stuff. He’s been on hormones for a year and a half and says there are some physical changed, but it’s mostly mental.
Diane says Bruce talked about Khloe saying if he’s living female, you need the vayjayjay. Diane says she heard you’re supposed to spend one year in the gender to get your license and have two referrals. He says he hasn’t decided all of this yet and says there’s no rush and he would do it quietly so no one would know. He says if he did sexual reassignment surgery, it would be down the road a bit.
Dr Steven Levine, who works with transgender, says many rush ahead too fast and don’t understand the upheaval they’ll face. He says even after full transition, there’s still a suicide risk. Dr Norman Spack says how you come out is very important and says they’re the same people they always were. Brandon says he wants to know if his dad will be in another relationship.
Diane asks if he would marry a woman again and Bruce says he can’t even figure that side of it out. He says he just wants a free soul and to be who he is. He says again that sexual orientation and gender are different issues. He says let’s go with asexual for now. He says if this is the only problem he has in life, he’s got it made and will be okay. He says he has his health, his children, family, seven grandkids.
Bruce says he’s really excited about the future and doing good in the world. Diane asks what question would he ask if he was her. He says he would ask – are you going to be okay? She asks it. Bruce says yes, he hopes he will and feels like he will be. He says 2015 will be quite a ride. Diane asks how she would look and they show Bruce in drag on an old 70s TV show with a couple of other athletes.
Diane says she hates wearing makeup and getting dressed up and jokes that he’s looking forward to it. He says he’s been wanting to for a while. Bruce invites her to a private dinner to meet “her.” He says he’s not a Kardashian, but more of a Jenner. Bruce takes her back to his room to show her the dress he’ll wear to dinner. He says in his next house, he’s building a glam room.
He shows her that he has a his and her closet and shows her his little black dress and says she won’t be the tallest girl in the room. Diane says he looked great at dinner and seemed happy.
Diane is next in New York with Bruce’s sister Pam who says she hasn’t seen Bruce as “her” and she says she’s sure it will be shocking in a way and says it will take some getting used to. Bruce came in and take a chair. He says his goal is modest and just wants to be able to wear nail polish on long enough that it chips off. Then Bruce talks about their conservative 89 year old mom.
We see a video of his mom, Esther Jenner, saying she loves him and wants him to be happy. She says she was proud of him when he won the Olympics and is more proud of him now. His father died 14 years ago. Diane asks what his dad would say and Bruce says that’s a tough one. Bruce says his dad was wonderful and loved him. He says he wishes he would have told him but says it would have been tough on him to hear.
Bruce says he would have wanted to hear his dad saying he loved him if he told him. Diane shows Bruce and Pam a Bruce Jenner action figure. Diane says this is a farewell to the Bruce they thought they knew. Bruce says he’s saying goodbye to people’s perception of him and who he is. He says he’s not saying goodbye to him because this has always been him.
He says he would ask people to be open-minded and have an open heart. The interview wraps and then Diane will have final thoughts.
Diane says many people who know Bruce have sent messages of well wishes. Nikolai Ivanov says he has no issue with Bruce’s transition and wonders how a woman beat him at the Olympics. His other Olympic teammates say they support him.
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