Bruce Jenner on Being Transgender: ‘Life Is Much More Difficult Than Running a Decathlon’

Former Olympian Bruce Jenner opens up about his lifelong turmoil.

ByABC News
April 27, 2015, 9:51 AM

— -- In a previously unseen exchange between ABC News’ Diane Sawyer and Bruce Jenner during an interview about his revelation that he considers himself a woman, the former Olympian likened his coming out to winning the 1976 Olympic decathlon.

“Actually, I thought of the title for a book is 'The Eleventh Event: Overcoming Life's Obstacle' ... because life is much more difficult than running a decathlon, I guarantee you,” he said in the exchange that aired for the first time Monday on “Good Morning America.”

When Sawyer following up by adding, “But ultimately you win or lose from what's inside,” Jenner agreed.

“Everybody's got stuff,” said the 65-year-old father and grandfather. “Everybody's got their things that they've got to deal with. This happens to be my thing that I've dealt with my whole life. I'm trying to do something about it for the good, OK. And I don't think anybody could be critical about that. At least I hope not.”

Jenner’s admission has sparked a national conversation about gender. In another exchange that aired for the first time on “GMA” Monday, he recalled the early stages of his transition. He wasn’t yet ready to share his secret with the world but found himself besieged by paparazzi.

The changes to his face were apparent, Sawyer said.

“Yes, I gave [them] ammunition, OK,” Jenner said.

When Sawyer asked Jenner why, he replied: “Because I'm trying to live with myself ... trying to be myself.”

During the interview, which first aired on Friday, Jenner referred to himself using male pronouns and ABC News has followed his lead, though he also referred to himself as “Bruce” and “her.”

For decades, Jenner’s ex-wives and sister kept the secret of his gender identity struggle as the only people who knew. The circle expanded recently when Jenner told his mother and his 10 children -- biological children Burt, Cassandra, Brandon, Brody, Kendall and Kylie, and stepchildren Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian.