When Bruce Jenner spoke to Diane Sawyer in an interview Friday night, it quickly became clear that their conversation was about more than Jenner's gender identity it was about humanizing the journey and experiences of transgender people. "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," Jenner told Sawyer.
The two-hour sit-down could have easily unraveled. Instead, Sawyer demonstrated comp assion at every turn, and provided essential context from medical experts who explained how people physically, mentally and emotionally experience their gender.
Genitalia, they said, don't necessarily determine one's gender identity. Transgender people may experience a fierce conflict between the gender they were assigned at birth and the gender they use to identify themselves. Sawyer treated this experience not as a freakish tendency, but a deeply rooted longing to lead an authentic life.
The wide-ranging interview addressed the many challenges that transgender individuals often face, including discrimination, violence and bullying. At least seven transgender women have been killed in 2015, and as Jenner pointed out, transgender women of color are often disproportionately targeted.
Jenner said he contemplated suicide at one point last year, when paparazzi found out about his appointment for a medical procedure known as a tracheal shave, which reduces the prominence of the Adam's apple. He added that they were waiting for him afterward, armed with cruel taunts. Jenner ultimately decided against suicide.
Overall, Jenner seemed relieved and happy to announce his