Jenner Paves the Way for the LGBTQ Community

Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner at the 13th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational gala (Photo by Ethan Miller, Getty Images)

by Christine Urio

Bruce Jenner’s coming out as a woman will have positive effects for the Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community, for it will foster a better understanding of transgender issues.

During an interview with Diane Sawyer, Jenner, former Olympian and current Kardashian star, announced that he identifies as a female.

“I’m not stuck in anybody’s body. It’s just who I am as a human being,” he said in an interview during a special two-hour edition of ABC News’ 20/20.

Over the past two years, Jenner has undergone significant physical change, ranging from his long hair, to his pierced ears and diminished trachea.

According to the New York Times, “There is no question that what Jenner did on Friday night was very brave. He is a prominent role model for the trans community.”

While this community has recently received a lot of attention in the media in shows such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “Transparent,” Jenner’s publicity takes the gold, for he has been a prominent celebrity for decades.

Jenner was seen as a beloved, clean-cut, masculine figure. This dimension of his character makes his coming out even more renowned, for it breaks social barriers and exemplifies an iconic man who identifies as a woman and was still able to achieve success.

“People look at me differently,” Jenner said during the interview. “They see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul and everything that I do in life — it is part of me—that female side is part of me. That’s who I am.”

He is known for his all-American values, and currently for being the principled father and patriarch of the Jenner-Kardashian clan. Because of his wholesome profile, his transition has been met with less opposition than expected.

However, many people do not accept the transgendered culture because they are afraid of what they do not understand and lack a basic knowledge. Yet, Jenner was able to simply define and vocalize the main concept in a New York Times article.

“My brain is much more female than it is male. It’s hard for people to understand that, but that’s what my soul is,” he said.

While this may be surprising for an audience, this dual identity is something that Jenner has dealt with his entire life.

According to the New York Times, “To assume that your identity is unquestionably the same is a privileged stance to take; the entire “coming out” conceit suggests that, for those for whom the situation has changed, the shift requires an explanation.”

Jenner shared he had always been confused about his gender identity from a young age when he would try on his sister’s dresses.

“I look at it this way—Bruce always telling a lie,” Jenner said during the interview. “He’s lived a lie his whole life about who he is. And I can’t do that any longer.”

Some have questioned why it has taken Jenner 65 years to come out, but this serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating to the trans community that it is never too late to embrace who you truly are.

Although Jenner did not disclose the name he will go by as a woman, he joked that it will not start with a “K,” for he wishes to keep some of his transition private.

According to the New York Times, “In drawing that line, he is reminding us how much of the telling of this story is for our sake, and not his. Jenner doesn’t need to show us that he is a woman to know it is true, even if we want to see for ourselves.”

Of course, there is the lurking, cynical question of if Jenner is doing this as a publicity stunt.

“We’re going to change the world. I really firmly believe that—that we’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing,” he said during the interview. “If the whole Kardashian show and reality television really gave me a foothold into that world, to really go out there and do something good, then I’m all for it. I’ve got no problem with that.”