Celebrities take to Twitter to give support to Bruce Jenner after the former Olympian announces he now identifies himself as a woman.
INTERNET (APRIL 25, 2015) (REUTERS) – Celebrities and family members took to Twitter on Friday (April 24) in support of Bruce Jenner after the former Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star said that he identifies as a woman, becoming the most high-profile American to come out as transgender.
The 65-year-old Jenner made the declaration in a wide-ranging interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, nearly 40 years after his record-breaking Olympic gold-medal win in the decathlon that gave him the unofficial title of “World’s Greatest Athlete.”
At the outset of the taped interview, Sawyer asked “Are you a woman?” and Jenner responded, “Yes, for all intents and purposes I am a woman.”
Known to younger generations as the patriarch of reality TV’s Kardashian clan, Jenner went on ABC’s “20/20” to put to rest months of speculation that he was transitioning to life as a woman.
Immediately after the interview tweets from family and celebrities started coming out voicing support.
Stepdaughter Kim Kardashian, perhaps one of the most famous of American reality TV stars, tweeted, “Love is the courage to live the truest, best version of yourself. Bruce is love. I love you Bruce.”
Kim’s sister Khloe tweeted, “I’m soooo proud of you! Dads really are heros”
Jenner’s daughter Kylie Jenner tweeted, “You are so brave. My beautiful Hero.”
Singer Lady Gaga tweeted, “Now that is bravery” and “Let’s empower people like Bruce all over the world by loving & not mean.”
Miley Ray Cyrus tweeted support, as did comedian Jimmy Fallon who wrote, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons tweeted “We are witnessing history. This beautiful to watch,” and talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres called him a “brave human being,” adding “He’s saving lives and opening minds tonight.”
Jenner’s announcement coincides with a growing visibility of transgender people in American society. Hollywood has played a part, introducing transgender storylines and actors like Laverne Cox from television show “Orange Is the New Black,” who appeared on the cover of Time magazine last year for a story about “America’s next civil rights frontier.”
An emotional Jenner, sporting long hair and a shirt and trousers, said he had waited so many years to come out because he did not “want to disappoint people.”
Although Jenner did not address pronoun preference, Sawyer said that for this interview, Jenner asked that the public use “the familiar ‘him’ or ‘he’.”
Three times married and divorced and parent to six biological children and four stepchildren, Jenner said he is not gay and has never had sex with a man.
Jenner was one of the most prominent athletes of the 1970s after he won the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal and broke the world record for points in the 10-event competition.