It was the tell-all interview to end all tell-all interviews: Bruce Jenner opening up to Diane Sawyer about his transition to living as a woman. Members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan — who aren't exactly known for being tight-lipped — have been almost exclusively silent on the subject, though rumors have been swirling for years.
Sawyer met with Jenner at his California home. The former Olympian was nervous and emotional at first, stopping for tissues just a few minutes into their chat. But as soon as he began to really open up, the nerves melted away and Jenner hit his stride. The result was a special that showed the audience that just because a man has been on a hit reality TV show for eight years doesn't mean we know much about him at all. So, what did this two hours of television teach us that 500-plus episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians didn't?
1. He considers himself a woman.
Asked if he considered himself a woman, Jenner didn't miss a beat. "Yes, for all intents and purposes, I am a woman," he began. "People look at me differently. They see me as a 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. I was genetically born that way."
He went on to clarify the technical side of things. "As of now, I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff," he explained before adding that he still identifies as female, "That's very hard for Bruce Jenner to say. Why? Because I don't want to disappoint people."
2. He isn't gay (as far as he knows).
When Sawyer started tap dancing around the subject of his sexuality, Jenner jumped in before she had to spit out the question. "No, I'm not gay," he quipped with a smile. "I'm not gay. I am, as far as I know, heterosexual."
Sawyer raised a brow as she asked him to clarify what he meant by that but he didn't seem the least bit bothered. "I've never been with a guy," he shrugged. "I've always been married raising kids. "
3. He considered suicide.
Recalling some painful encounters with the paparazzi, the reality star admitted there were times when he thought suicide would be the "easiest thing." He described his thoughts when he was in that dark place: "Go in the room. Get a gun. Boom! Pain's over. It's done. Go to a better place."
4. He started taking hormones in the 1980s, but stopped after meeting Kris Jenner.
Bruce also revealed that he had started the transition process in the '80s. He had facial plastic surgery, electrolysis to get rid of his facial hair, and began estrogen hormone treatment. Then he met Kris Jenner and decided not to go through with it — though he didn't say she was the exact reason for backing out.
"I had been on hormones for five years and I was a really solid 36B something and you really can't hide those things," he laughed. "And [Kris] goes, 'Well, OK, you like to wear women's clothes.' And I kind of downplayed it some. I feel in a lot of ways that when you love somebody you don't want to hurt them."
5. If Kris Jenner had been OK with his transition, they'd "probably" still be married.
"I loved Kris. I had a wonderful life with her. I learned a lot from her. That's what you like in a relationship — to be able to learn from the person you're with," he explained of his union with his third wife. "Kris is a good woman. I've got no complaints with her. She's a good person. Honestly, if she had been really good with it and understanding of it, we'd probably still be together."
While Bruce is no longer her spouse, Kris showed him some love on Twitter after the interview aired:
Not only was I able to call him my husband for 25 years and father of my children, I am now able to call him my hero.
— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) April 25, 2015
6. Kim, Kylie, and Kendall all caught him dressed as a woman at one point.
Bruce admitted that over the years, Kim, Kendall, and Kylie all caught him dressed as a woman. "Kim caught me one time — walked in," he said with a shrug. Asked what her reaction was, the 65-year-old mused, "She walked out and jumped in the car and went for a ride" before adding that this was simply a subject that no one in the family talked about.
Another time, Kendall and Kylie inadvertently saw their father posing in front of their full-length mirror in a dress via their computer cam. (One of them had thought the other was stealing her clothes and had set the camera up to catch her sister red-handed.)
7. His biggest fear was telling his kids.
Despite the fact that at least three of his children had caught him, Jenner revealed that his biggest fear, still, was telling his kids. His son Brandon was the first to know, but eventually Jenner came clean to all of his daughters and stepson Rob Kardashian, as well. "They all cried, mainly because they don't want anybody to hurt Dad," he said. "They're very protective of me, especially Kendall and Kylie."
Before the 20/20 interview started, Brandon shared a throwback snap on Instagram along with the caption: "Proud son."
8. Khloé has had the hardest time with his transition.
According to Jenner, however, it's not Kendall or Kylie who's taking the news the hardest: It's Khloé. "Khloe's had the toughest time with it," he lamented. "She's had a lot of losses in her life. She lost her father at a young age… and you know Lamar had his issues. She feels like there's this massive, 'My whole life's falling apart, it's my dad,' and I can't argue that point, but I'm not going anywhere. I'm still going to be there."
Just as Khloé is there for him. Following the broadcast, she tweeted:
Just finished watching the #BruceJennerInterview with the family. Bruzer, I'm soooo proud of you! Dads really are heros ❤️
— Khloé (@khloekardashian) April 25, 2015
9. Kim has been the most supportive, thanks to Kanye.
Kim credits Kanye with her breakthrough on this topic. "They were talking about it and he says to Kim 'Look, I can be married to the most beautiful in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful daughter in the world. I have that. But I'm nothing if I can't be me, if I can't be true to myself, they don't mean anything.'"
Apparently that really resonated with the Kardashian superstar, who went on to tell Bruce, "If you're doing this thing, I'm helping you. You're representing the family. You've got to look really good."
She also tweeted out support to her stepfather:
Love is the courage to live the truest, best version of yourself. Bruce is love. I love you Bruce. #ProudDaughter
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 25, 2015
10. His conservative mother is prouder of him than when he won the gold medal at the Olympics in 1976.
In a touching video message, Jenner's nearly 90-year-old mom declared her unyielding support. "I want you to be happy and I love you. I was very proud of you when you stood on that podium in Montreal," she said through a beaming smile. "I never thought I could be more proud of you, but I'm learning I can be."
11. He's a Republican.
It's just kind of surprising — that's all.
12. He considers himself asexual "for now."
Asked by Sawyer if he could see himself getting married again to a woman, Jenner couldn't help but laugh. "It's so far down the road, it's like the last thing in the world. I can't figure that side of it out. I just want to have a free soul and have a lot of great friends. I'm 65. It's not like you want to go out and get it on all the time. I just want to enjoy life." But when she pressed again, subtly looping back to the sexual preference question, Jenner quipped that he was "asexual, for now."
13. He isn't having gender reassignment surgery — at least, not anytime soon.
"Those are all things out there in the future for me to explore," he said of gender reassignment surgery. "There's no rush for that and I would do it so quietly nobody in the world would ever know. I'm not shooting any of this. I'm not filming anything. To me, it's very degrading. At this point, as far as the term SRS, sexual reassignment surgery, would be down the line."
14. E! will be filming a new documentary series following his life as a trangender woman.
But just because he isn't filming his gender reassignment surgery doesn't mean he isn’t going to be in front of the cameras anymore! As rumored for months now, E! just announced that it will be filming a new documentary series following Jenner's life as a transgender woman. It's important to note, however, that according to the press release, "At this time, Bruce Jenner is choosing not to live publicly in the media as a woman."
Asked what he's most looking forward to now that the cat's (officially) out of the bag, Jenner quipped, "To be able to have my nail polish on long enough that it actually chips off."