Bruce Jenner’s Ex-Wife Linda Thompson: “I Commend Him” For His “Courage”
Shortly after Bruce Jenner spoke openly about his transition from male to female, his ex-wife Linda Thompson, the mother of Brandon and Brody Jenner, respectfully and lovingly shared her story about life with the former Olympian and his struggle. Thompson, who was married to Jenner between 1981 and 1986, began by noting in an essay on the Huffington Post that she should “never would have dared to speak on this issue before he was comfortable enough to do so first.”
Thompson, a songwriter, recalled how Jenner first told her that he was really a woman inside. “When Brody was about 18-months-old and Brandon was about 3-and-a-half-years-old, Bruce came to me one day with a very somber look on his face and said, ‘There’s something about me that I really need to tell you, something you need to know.'” She wrote that Jenner then told her, “I have lived in the wrong skin, the wrong body, my whole life. It is a living hell for me, and I really feel that I would like to move forward with the process of becoming a woman, the woman I have always been inside.”
She said she first thought she could “fix” Jenner, but ultimately understood it wasn’t something one fixes, and after she and the Olympian separated, Thompson said she attempted to “shield Brandon and Brody from the truth.” Thompson wrote, “I felt such a reverent obligation to keep Bruce’s gender dysphoria, a secret for Bruce to reveal or not, that I did not even tell my sons until they were 31 and 29 years old.” She explained, “I wanted Brandon and Brody to experience enough life and garner enough knowledge, confidence, and compassion to be able to deal with their father’s true self.”
While Thompson admitted in her essay that had she known when she first became involved with Jenner, “I would not have married him,” she added, “Looking back, I’m so grateful to God, the universe and Bruce that I didn’t know, and that Bruce played the role in my life that he did.” She’s also proud that she “protected him through these years” and can now “breathe a little easier, knowing he now has found the strength and the courage to fulfill his dream.”
Jenner’s second ex-wife acknowledged that it’s impossible for most to “fully grasp what an imprisonment that must feel like to be born into the wrong body,” but is glad he can “finally realize his need to be who he authentically is, who he was born to be. That takes tremendous courage. For that I commend him.” What do you think of Thompson’s essay on the Huffington Post?