Linda Thompson, Bruce Jenner’s Ex-Wife, Offers Message Of Support, Calling Jenner A ‘Champion For Those Who Share The Struggle’

Linda Thompson, Bruce Jenner’s former wife, is joining the millions who are supporting the former Olympic champion’s brave revelation that she is now a transgender woman.

Linda Thompson posted a message of support for her former husband ahead of Jenner’s much-anticipated interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday.

“Once a champion of Olympian magnitude…now a champion for those who share the struggle to just be who they are. #compassion #acceptance #tolerance #education #evolution #kindness #inclusion #freedom #peace,” Linda Thompson captioned an Instagram collage of photos of Bruce following her 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon gold medal win.

Linda Thompson, who has appeared on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and is mother to sons Brandon and Brody Jenner with Bruce Jenner, married Bruce Jenner in Oahu, Hawaii on January 5, 1981 and they divorced in 1986. Linda Thompson then married now ex-husband David Foster, and Bruce Jenner went on to marry ex Kris Jenner, according to Us Weekly.

Linda Thompson told the Huffington Post she has the fondest of memories of the early days with Bruce Jenner.

“Those were the happiest days of my life. I had a wonderful husband, who was the most athletic, high-spirited, energetic, easygoing, manly man imaginable. I had two beautiful, healthy baby boys. I had two great stepchildren. Life was just about as good as it gets.”

In her extended blog post about her experience with Bruce for The Huffington Post, Linda Thompson wrote about her early days with the athlete, the progression of their love story, and the secrets she kept for the star.

“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. I truly thought he might possibly tell me he had had an affair while on the road. But that’s not what he wanted to confess to me. Bruce told me that he identified as a woman. Not understanding exactly what he meant, I questioned him. ‘What do you mean you identify as a woman?’ I asked. ‘What does that mean?'”

“He replied that it meant that for as long as he could remember, he had looked in the mirror and seen a masculine image staring back at him where there should have been a feminine reflection. Bruce lamented, ‘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.’ People have asked me, ‘Were there any signs or clues through the years that Bruce might have had this issue? Any evidence he wore your clothes?’ No. Not a clue. Nothing. Nada. Never.”

“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, respectively. 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. We are not defined by our parents, but we don’t know that as young children. I tried to raise my sons to embrace open hearts, forgiveness, kindness, tolerance, and compassion. They have been imbued with good values and are remarkably noble, showing incredible acceptance, understanding, and forgiveness toward Bruce and others.”

Do you agree with Linda Thompson’s opinion of Bruce Jenner’s revelation?

[Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images]