Civilities: Bruce Jenner: “Have an open mind and an open heart”


The Washington Post
By Steven Petrow
April 26, 2015

A whopping 16.9 million viewers watched Diane Sawyer interview former Olympian and Wheaties cover boy Bruce Jenner on Friday night. They stayed glued to their TVs waiting for an answer to the many questions surrounding him. The 65-year-old, thrice-married Jenner has held many “titles” — dyslexic, Kardashian patriarch and dad — but this interview was about his most controversial identity yet: transgender woman.

The two-hour broadcast brought the issue of trans identity home. There are an estimated 700,000 trans men and women in this country according toUCLA’s Williams Institute, a research center that studies gender and sexual orientation, but according to a GLAAD study, just 8 percent of Americans report knowing anyone transgender. But that’s changing. “More and more people are being introduced to transgender people in their own families,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “This interview may have provided a first opportunity [for them] to meet a trans person who they at least sort of know.”

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