Bruce Jenner is forever a champion in the eyes of his ex-wife Linda Thompson. The Olympic medalist’s ex-wife, who is mom to their sons Brandon and Brody Jenner, posted a supportive message for the reality star ahead of his big reveal with Diane Sawyer on Friday, April 24.
“Once a champion of Olympian magnitude…now a champion for those who share the struggle to just be who they are. #compassion #acceptance #tolerance #education #evolution #kindness #inclusion #freedom #peace,” she captioned an Instagram collage of photos of Bruce following his 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon gold medal win.
Thompson, who has appeared on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Jenner said “I do” in Oahu, Hawaii, on Jan. 5, 1981. The couple divorced in 1986. Thompson then married now ex-husband David Foster while Jenner went on to marry ex Kris Jenner.
"My whole life has been getting me ready for this,” Bruce, who is transitioning from male to female, told Diane Sawyer in a clip teasing the highly anticipated 20/20 special.
According to an insider, he wasn’t exaggerating. “Bruce told Diane he has wanted to be a woman for as far back as he can remember,” a source previously told Us. "He always felt it and kept burying it."
Thompson went on to pen an extended blog post about her experience with Bruce for The Huffington Post, which went up after the ABC special aired. She wrote about her early days with the athlete, the progression of their love story, and the secrets she kept for the star.
"The Bruce I knew back then was an easygoing, down-to-earth, casual, romantic, good and loving man," she wrote. "I was extremely happy to have found such a remarkable partner with whom to share my life. I found him to be honorable and, well, just too good to be true. Just too good to be true indeed."
"When Brody was about 18 months old and Brandon was about 3 and a half years old, Bruce came to me one day with a very somber look on his face and said, 'There's something about me that I really need to tell you, something you need to know,'" Thompson continued. "I truly thought he might possibly tell me he had had an affair while on the road. But that's not what he wanted to confess to me. Bruce told me that he identified as a woman. Not understanding exactly what he meant, I questioned him. 'What do you mean you identify as a woman?' I asked. 'What does that mean?'"
"He replied that it meant that for as long as he could remember, he had looked in the mirror and seen a masculine image staring back at him where there should have been a feminine reflection," she wrote. "Bruce lamented, 'I have lived in the wrong skin, the wrong body, my whole life. It is a living hell for me, and I really feel that I would like to move forward with the process of becoming a woman, the woman I have always been inside.' People have asked me, 'Were there any signs or clues through the years that Bruce might have had this issue? Any evidence he wore your clothes?' No. Not a clue. Nothing. Nada. Never."
"I felt such a reverent obligation to keep Bruce's gender dysphoria a secret for Bruce to reveal or not that I did not even tell my sons until they were 31 and 29 years old, respectively," Thompson noted. "I wanted Brandon and Brody to experience enough life and garner enough knowledge, confidence, and compassion to be able to deal with their father's true self. We are not defined by our parents, but we don't know that as young children. I tried to raise my sons to embrace open hearts, forgiveness, kindness, tolerance, and compassion. They have been imbued with good values and are remarkably noble, showing incredible acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness toward Bruce and others."
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