After her former husband publicly came out on television as being transgender, Linda Thompson released an article of her own, titled How Living With and Loving Bruce Jenner Changed My Life Forever. In her essay, Thompson describes the moment she met Bruce Jenner, as well as their subsequent dating, marriage and divorce. While the essay remains pretty positive throughout, there are some surprising moments that not many would have expected to read.
After reflecting on the onset of their romantic lives, as well as the birth of their two sons, Thompson describes an extremely happy family where apparently nothing is wrong. However, she then describes the moment that Bruce Jenner broke the news to her.
“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.”
For example, when Brandon, the pair’s oldest son, was 3, Bruce Jenner told Thompson that he was considering traveling to Denmark for gender-confirmation surgery and was mulling the possibility of reintroducing himself to their sons as “Aunt Heather.” They subsequently tried therapy for six months before divorcing.
Thompson also dropped the bombshell that, had she known about Jenner’s wanting to be a woman before they had gotten married, then she would have called off the whole thing.
“If Bruce had told me about his gender issue when we first began getting romantically involved, I would not have married him. Pure and simple. But 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.”
However, Thompson finished the essay on a positive note, saying that she wished Jenner well, regardless of what happens.
“After having harbored his secret, and feeling in my heart and mind that I have protected him through these years, I can now breathe a little easier, knowing he now has found the strength and the courage to fulfill his dream. 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.”