As a rule, I do not keep with the Kardashians. I find them self-serving. However, I have been noticing over the past year that Kris Kardashian Jenner’s ex-husband Bruce Jenner has been transitioning on the reality series. Sixty-five year-old Jenner is now wearing diamond stud earrings and has his long hair in a ponytail. He looks different.
The Gold Medal winner in the decathlon of the 1996 Montreal Summer Olympics and the former Wheaties spokesman, Bruce will soon have, thanks to E! and GLAAD, his own Reality Series documenting his transformation. Kris Jenner, his third wife, didn’t respond very positively upon first being told (on camera) about her former husband’s gender transformation. (Bruce has had two other wives and has children with his second wife Linda Thompson.)
Supporters of Jenner
Kim Kardashian, the star of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, says she supports her step-father’s “journey.” More importantly, so does Bruce’s mother, Esther Jenner, who told the Associated Press “I never thought I could be more proud of Bruce when he reached his Olympic goal in 1976, but I’m more proud of him now. It takes a lot of courage to do what he’s doing. I’m at peace with what he’s doing.” (http://www.zergnet.com/news/394741/bruce-jenners-mother-opens-up-about-his-sex-change).
Like most straight parents of LGBT children, Esther found the news came as a “shock. It’s hard to wrap your head around it.” Bruce wanted his mother to know about his identity and realized that she might find out first through the press.
He told her, perhaps to soften the blow (?) as many LGBT kids feel they are disappointing their parents, “Mom, I’m still the same person. I’m still going to race cars, I’m still going to fly airplanes, and I’m going to get my helicopter’s license.”
A Straight Mother’s Unconditional Love
Bruce is fortunate that his mother is so loving. She will cushion the blow that the President of the International Transgender Certification Association, gender therapist Carol Clark, feels is inevitable. “Someone like Bruce Jenner is going to have a lot thrown at him. Some people will support him, but even some people in the transgender community may criticize him. “Whether he likes it or not, he is going to be the face of this issue, and there will be a lot of drama around it.”
As it has been proven with studies of gay children who are not accepted by their parents, LGBT children are at higher risk for substance abuse, depression, even suicide. His mother’s acceptance will give him strength to stand up to his critics.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.