Bruce Jenner‘s ex-wife Linda Thompson opened up about their married life. She tells how she dealt with the his gender identity issues in an essay on the Huffington Post after Bruce revealed to ABC’s Diane Sawyer on Friday night, that he is transitioning from a man to a woman.
(As of this writing, Bruce has not chosen to publicly identify as a woman, so we continue to refer to him as Bruce and use male pronouns, until he indicates otherwise.)
Bruce, 65, and Thompson, 64, were married for nearly three years in the ’80s, when he first began transitioning, and are parents to sons Brandon, 33, and Brody Jenner, 31. Below are her words:
By now, Bruce Jenner has revealed his struggle with gender dysphoria.
I never would have dared to speak on this issue before he was comfortable enough to do so first. It is, after all, his truth, so I knew he should be afforded the dignity to reveal that truth on his own time and in the way he sees fit.
I have respectfully kept his secrets private and would have taken his confidences to my grave had he not spoken out.
But now, many years into his remarkable life, he has spoken out. His legacy will likely be sprinkled with references like “Olympian,” “decathlon gold medalist,” “world’s greatest athlete,” “son,” “brother,” “husband,” “father,” “grandfather,” “friend,” and, hopefully, “pioneer” and “trailblazer for the civil rights of the transgender community.”
So as much as this is about Bruce, it’s not all about him. The sharing of my experience is meant to enlighten and inform – to lend a modicum of comfort and support for all those disenfranchised, struggling, discriminated-against, searching souls.
Bruce’s story and his struggle are uniquely his; my experiences with Bruce are commensurately uniquely my own.
After having harbored his secret, and feeling in my heart and mind that I have protected him through these years, I can now breathe a little easier, knowing he now has found the strength and the courage to fulfill his dream. He can finally realize his need to be who he authentically is, who he was born to be. That takes tremendous courage. For that I commend him.
Bruce has already “gone through the fire,” suffered unfathomable discomfort and pain, been held prisoner in his own flesh. It is certainly not our place to judge him or others who may feel trapped, ostracized, or alone.
My hope and my prayer is that humanity has evolved enough and been properly educated to exercise kindness toward those who have struggled or who we may perceive to be “different.” Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings. I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together.
As Henry James so wisely advised, the three most important things in life are:
Well said. For the full essay by Linda, go here.
(via The Huffington Post)