Maria Bello “So Glad” Bruce Jenner Opened Up About Transition

Maria Bello
Maria Bello applauds Bruce Jenner's decision to come out as transgender. Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

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Celebrity support continues to pour in five days after Bruce Jenner's candid interview with 20/20's Diane Sawyer about his gender transition, and openly gay actress and activist Maria Bello applauds the former Olympian for his refusal to place a label on himself and the life he lives. "I loved that interview so much," Bello, 48, said in an April 29 HuffPost Live interview.

One of the segments that hit closest to home for Bello was Jenner's conversation with Sawyer about how, despite declaring "for all intents and purposes" he is a woman, he remains heterosexual.

"There's two different things here. Sexuality is who you personally are attracted to — who turns you on — male or female. But gender identity has to do with who you are as a person and your soul, and who you identify with inside, okay?" Jenner, 65, told Sawyer in the April 24 20/20 chat. "I'm not stuck in anybody's body. I'm just who I am as a human being."

Bruce Jenner
Bruce Jenner Bruce Jenner discussed his gender transition with Diane Sawyer in an April 24 interview on 20/20.

Bello — whose new memoir, Whatever . . . Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, explores gender identity in part — praised Jenner for remaining steadfast in his decision to live his life out loud and proud. "I'm so glad he brought it to the forefront," she told HuffPost Live. "For him to say 'you can’t put a label [on me]' is fantastic. The only labels you should have are the ones you give yourself. Life isn't static, and we have to create better labels to embrace who we are."

The overwhelmingly positive support for the athlete and Keeping Up With the Kardashians star began with his family, including stepdaughter Kim Kardashian. Kanye West's wife told Today's Matt Lauer after the interview that her stepdad is taking care to educate those closest to him about the new stage in his life.

"I think that everything takes time," Kardashian said. "I mean, Bruce wants us to feel as comfortable as possible and take everything at our own pace, and we love him for that, and we respect him for that…Bruce has always been really really good at explaining everything to us, even though it's really new and these have been newer feelings — not newer feelings for him but for us to digest. He's done a really good job at walking us through it."

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