"For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," Bruce Jenner said minutes into her interview with ABC News's Diane Sawyer. For weeks, the public and media speculated what the former Olympian would announce in the two-hour special.
"People look at me differently," Jenner said in the interview. "They can see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul, and everything that I do in life, it is part of me, that female side is part of me. That's who I am."
And he added: "We're going to make a difference in the world with what we're doing. And if the whole Kardashian show and reality television gave me that foothold into that world—to be able to go out there and really do something good, I'm all for it. I got no problem with that."
Known to younger generations as the patriarch of reality TV's Kardashian clan, Jenner went on ABC's "20/20" to put to rest months of speculation that he was transitioning to life as a woman.
"I was not genetically born that way," Jenner said. "As of now, I have all the male parts and all that kind of stuff. In a lot of ways we are different, OK? But we still identify as female. And that's very hard for Bruce Jenner to say. Because why? I don't want to disappoint people."
Although Jenner did not address pronoun preference, Sawyer said that for this interview, Jenner asked that the public use "the familiar 'him' or 'he'."
Before the interview aired, hundreds of viewers and supporters began to Tweet their support for Jenner, including a handful of celebrities. Singer Lady Gaga urged fans to be supportive, saying: "I pray this Sawyer/Jenner interview will be met with compassion. This is an important world issue."
Jenner, who revealed she first began transitioning in the 1980s and was on hormones for five years, also received the support of her children and step children. Son Brandon Jenner tweeted a photo of the two with a caption that read simply: "Proud son." Daughter Kylie Jenner, meanwhile, retweeted several messages of support from Lady Gaga.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashian's reality star told Sawyer his struggle with her gender identity and how that struggle played a role in her three marriages. Jenner's first two wives provided supporting statements, while Kris Jenner refused to comment, Sawyer told viewers.
Kris Jenner later tweeted to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, saying, "f**k you Perez no one asked me to comment ....and I'm sitting with Bruce now watching this show so let's keep it real...LOL...."
Throughout the interview, social media users flooded Twitter with messages of support, as well as messages against Jenner's decision to go public with her transitioning story. Several celebrities called Jenner "brave".
All four of Jenner's older children, from his first two marriage, appeared on the special to announce their support for their father. Son Brandon added that while he has always been proud of Jenner for his Olympic accomplishments, he will be even prouder of his bravery to transition into a woman.
Jenner told Sawyer that there is a lot of work to do to support transgender teens, citing rising suicide rates. She also said she's been on hormones for over a year and that she has not decided whether to have sexual reassignment surgery.