On Friday night, Bruce Jenner sat down for a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer that was groundbreaking, heartwarming, and incredibly informative. During the interview, Jenner revealed that he identifies as a woman, and then spent two hours opening up to the world about his struggle to accept himself growing up and educating the audience on his particular experience and transgender issues in general. "I’m me. I’m a person. This is who I am. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body. It is who I am," he said in a powerful statement. On Monday, Good Morning America spoke to Chrystie Scott, Jenner's first ex-wife and the first person that he revealed his true self to. In a truly heartwarming moment, Scott opened up about Jenner's transition, becoming emotional over the pain that someone she cared about so much had to go through.
"I can't remember the exact words [he used to tell me he identified as a woman], because it was such a shock to me," she said honestly. "But he opened up his heart and confessed and he had to share this deep dark secret. And he told me that he always wanted to be a woman and, understandably, I was speechless. I didn't really know what to say." However, she said that her reaction was ultimately positive. "I was really pleased that he shared that intimacy with me that he trusted me with his deepest darkest secret."
Scott went on to make an important point about how Jenner's words affected their marriage — which is to say, not at all. "It's so hard to wrap your head around it, particularly because he was such a manly man. He didn't display female style in any way. He never indicated anything feminine in his demeanor... but it didn't threaten me. It didn't threaten our marriage. It wasn't really a part of — it wasn't really a threat. It wasn't a problem."
Apparently, Jenner and Scott watched the Sawyer interview together, and Scott turned the narrative right back to Jenner as she recalled what it was like to sit there with him and watch his most vulnerable moment unfold on live television. "It was great because the family was together and that's what I'm most proud of. To see him go through this anguish... I know it's been painful for him. I know it's been a torment in his life... He was tearful at times. It broke my heart. I reached over and tried to give a little comfort. It broke my heart for him. The sad. [But] I think it was cathartic to watch it together. I think it was cathartic to him."
The fact that Scott and Jenner continue to be so close, and that, even while talking about her own involvement in Jenner's journey, Scott made sure to pull the narrative focus back to Jenner and his experience, is so important. After all the years of torment and anguish that Jenner spent trying to live a life out of line with his true gender identity, and trying not to hurt anyone with his truth, the fact that he is now out and proud — and has such a supportive network of people around him — is incredibly heartwarming. Even better, Scott echoed Jenner's desire for his experience to help anyone else out there who is struggling with their gender identity.
"I'm sure there are plenty of people that don't have the courage to come out at all ever, and they live private, dark, tortured lives. And that's tragic, that's just tragic," Scott concluded.
Editors Note: Per Jenner’s stated preference, Bustle will continue referring to Jenner using he/his pronouns for the time being. We will follow his lead and make any changes to this policy as needed in the future.
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