by Alyssa Toomey | Mon., Apr. 27, 2015 12:34 PM
It's now been three days since Bruce Jenner made history in an unprecedented interview with Diane Sawyer.
''Yes, for all intents and purposes I am a woman," Jenner said. "People look at me differently. They see you as this 'macho male,' but my heart and my soul and everything I do in life, it is part of me, that female side is part of me. It's who I am. I was not genetically born that way."
(At this time, Bruce Jenner has not chosen to publicly identify as a woman and so E! News will continue to refer to him as Bruce and use male pronouns, until he indicates otherwise.)
While the sit-down served as Jenner's long-awaited confirmation that he is indeed transitioning into a woman, the interview has since raised a number of questions, as many of us are unsure how to discuss the tricky subject matter.
So, we've compiled a list of most frequently asked the questions we've seen on social media in an effort to make those difficult discussions just a little bit easier.
Has He Always Known? In short, yes. "Bruce Jenner is, I would say, I have always been always been very confused by my gender identity since I was this big [gestures towards the ground]," he told Diane Sawyer. Jenner also revealed during the interview that he would try on his sister's clothes when he was a little boy. "Bruce: always telling a lie. He's lived a lie his whole life about who he is," Jenner said. "And I can't do that any longer."
Does This Mean Bruce Is a Transgender Man or a Transgender Woman? According to GLAAD, the term transgender woman refers to "people who were assigned male at birth but identify and live as a woman," meaning Bruce Jenner is a transgender woman. GLAAD adds that some transgender woman prefer to use the term "MTF, an abbreviation for male-to-female" so "it is best to ask which term an individual prefers."
Is Bruce Jenner a Transgender? No. He is a transgender woman or a trans woman. Transgender should never be used as a noun.
Is Bruce Jenner a Cross-Dresser? No. According to GLAAD, the term cross-dresser is "typically used to refer to heterosexual men who occasionally wear clothes, makeup and accessories culturally associated with women. This activity is a form of gender expression, and not done for entertainment purposes. Cross-dressers do not wish to permanently change their sex or live full-time as a woman."
Should We Now Be Using Feminine Pronouns When Referring to Bruce? No—at least, not until he tells us to. "Whenever possible, ask transgender people which pronoun they would like you to use," GLAAD states. "If it is not possible to ask a transgender person which pronoun is preferred, use the pronoun that is consistent with the person's appearance and gender expression."
Is There a Difference Between Transgender and Transsexual? Yes. While transgender is an "umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth," transsexual is an "older term that originated in the medical and psychological communities" and is "still preferred by some people who have permanently changed, or seek to change, their bodies through medical interventions." GLAAD suggests asking which term an individual prefers and like transgender, transsexual should always be used as an adjective.
Alexandra Wyman/Invision for PMKBNC/AP Images
Has Bruce Jenner Chosen a Female Name? Yes, but Jenner has not revealed his choice with the public. It's also important to note that a "transgender person's chosen name is their real name–whether they are able to obtain a court-ordered name change or not. Many people use names they've chosen for themselves, and the media does not mention their birth name when writing about them, (e.g. Lady Gaga, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg). Transgender people should be accorded the same respect," GLAAD says.
When Will Bruce Begin His Transition? Jenner began his transition about 30 years ago when he first started taking female hormones back in the 80s. "I did it almost five years," he revealed although he shared that he stopped when he met third wife Kris Jenner.
Does This Mean Bruce Is Gay? "No, I'm not gay," Jenner told Diane Sawyer. "I'm not gay. I am, as far as I know, heterosexual." He added "I've never been with a guy. I've always been married raising kids," however, he also stressed that he will be learning a lot about himself as he continues his transition.
Will Bruce Jenner's Kids Call Him Mom or Dad? That's a question for Bruce and his children, and again, a very personal decision. "My son was 4 when I started transitioning," one Reddit user writes in response to a thread asking for transgender parents to share what their children call them. "I let him decide what to call me. He chose daddy and a year and a half later still calls me daddy. It's a little awkward in public, especially at the pool, but I'm not going to let society get in the way of our relationship. I told him if he changes his mind later and wants to call me Amy or something else, it's okay with me."
Why Now? Is It Too Late to Transition at 65? No, it's never too late to be true to yourself. "To be in transition around the time you qualify for AARP membership is to be on some level a paradox; a person newly born at a seasoned age," the New York Times states in an article titled "For Some In Transgender Community, It's Never Too Late to Change." "Additionally, these late transitioners grew up in an era of rigid gender stereotypes, which they have been both oppressed by and in some cases internalized. A great number of them are married and have children who struggle to accept that the person who raised them is now becoming someone new." The article also states, "Still, the pull to live as a person wants, even for a short time, even under reduced circumstances, remains powerful. Some people interviewed said they waited to retire before transitioning so as not to disrupt or destroy their careers. Others chose to push forward after the deaths of their parents or after their children had left the nest."
Learn more about what it means to be transgender at http://glaad.org/transgender
If you are transgender and need help or advice, contact the Trevor Project http://t.co/guMjyYIfng