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But outside of the glitz of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Caitlyn Jenner’s life was far from glamorous, as she struggled with gender dysphoria.
But, in 2015 Caitlyn came out as transgender, and on this day six years ago she officially changed her name.
A lifetime ago
Caitlyn Jenner went by the name Bruce Jenner for 66 years, accomplishing a number of athletic achievements.
As an Olympic athlete, Caitlyn won a number of championships and Olympic events in the 1970's. In July of 1976, Caitlyn (competing as Bruce Jenner) won gold in the men's decathlon at the Montreal Olympics, setting a world record in the event.
Jenner then famously grabbed an American flag from a spectator and carried it during the victory lap, starting a tradition that is now commonplace among winning athletes.
Following the Olympic success, Jenner became a motivational speaker and athletic spokesperson, often spending time with businesses and speaking about "finding the champion within".
Leaving Bruce behind
Caitlyn told a Boston news outlet that she had been wearing women’s clothing since she was about eight years old, and had even taken hormone replacement therapy in early adulthood.
“There was always this woman that lived inside of me, but I lived my life as Bruce,” she told WBUR.
“She was always there, she was always present, and I finally got to the point in life where it’s time for her to live.”
In a 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer in 2015, Caitlyn publicly came out as a trans woman.
In June 2015, Caitlyn debuted her new image on the cover of Vanity Fair, alongside the title "Call me Caitlyn".
In July 2015, Caitlyn held a renaming ceremony. And, on September 25, 2015, she legally filed the paperwork to change her name.
From there, she left Bruce Jenner behind and legally became Caitlyn Marie Jenner.
Following her announcement, Caitlyn tweeted a message of confirmation, which quickly became the tenth most retweeted message of 2015.
She also amassed over one million Twitter followers in four hours, setting a new Guinness World Record.
I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me.
— Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) June 1, 2015
In August 2015, she won the Social Media Queen award at the Teen Choice Awards.
By December 2015, she’d also won a place as one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year, Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year, Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating person, and made Time magazine’s shortlist for the 2015 Person of the Year.
LGBTQ+ communities also rallied in support of Jenner’s journey, as well as her celebrity daughters Kylie and Kim.
But unfortunately the reception was not all positive as satirical cartoon South Park openly mocked Caitlyn in five episodes in their 19th season.
Caitlyn also told the Daily Mail that many "people hated my guts”.
But, she persevered and continued to unashamedly live her truth.
Keeping up with Caitlyn
In 2017, Caitlyn underwent gender reassignment surgery.
Although their marriage ended in 2015, Caitlyn says that she and ex-wife Kris are still close.
Speaking to The Guardian, Jenner admitted that it was “hard to give old Bruce up, but he still lives inside of me.”
Now, Jenner speaks out about transgender rights, and openly advocates against trans violence.
There’s no doubt we’ll be seeing more of her in the future.
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