Coming clean. Bruce Jenner revealed in his talked-about ABC interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday, April 24, that one of his biggest hurdles in publicly identifying as a woman was addressing the matter with his expansive brood.
The Olympic athlete, 65, was asked by Sawyer, 69, "Were you terrified to tell your children?"
"Yes, every one of them," the father of six biological children said. "Those are the only ones I'm concerned with. They're the only ones in my life that I don't… I can't let myself hurt them, and that is… How do I do this? How do I do this and not hurt my children?"
"I tried to explain to them that as much of your upbringing was her as the he side, okay?" explained Bruce, who told Sawyer "I am a woman" in the interview. "I'll always be there. I'm not going anywhere."
Bruce said that he first told Brandon Jenner, his 33-year-old son from his second marriage to Linda Thompson. He described the sensitive musician as "our little Gandhi," remarking on the man's kind soul. Brandon, whose brother is reality star Brody Jenner, spoke to Sawyer about the conversation.
"The way he did it wasn't perfect… You could tell it was very difficult for him," Brandon said. "[People used to say,] 'Is Bruce Jenner your father?' I was always so proud to say, 'Yes, he is!' Bruce Jenner was more than just an athlete. They would light up like [he] was a hero."
Brandon went on to explain that Bruce is as heroic as ever in his eyes, after coming forward with his gender identity.
"I saw a sense of bravery that, for all of your previous accomplishments, I think far exceeds all of them," he explained with Bruce by his side. "I'm just honored and more proud than ever to be a part of the family."
"Obviously there are parts of it that aren't necessarily easy," he added. "I'm not handling this perfectly. I'm doing my best to cope with what's going on. And when I see my dad as a woman, it might be a little bit shocking at first."
Brandon's brother Brody and his half-siblings Burt and Casey appeared on the special as well, voicing their support and love for their father.
"I just held his hand and I cried with him and I told him how proud I was and how inspired I was," Casey explained. "Dad said, 'It's not that I'm trying to dress up like a woman, its that I've spent my whole life dressing like a man.'"
"The first thing I thought was, 'Oh it finally makes sense,'" Brody chimed in. "I think all the traits that I loved about Bruce, she still has."