Caitlyn Jenner supports her children being whoever they want to be, but even she would feel “shock” if one of them revealed that they were transitioning.
In October 2016, the gold medal-winning Olympian legally changed her name to Caitlyn Marie and her gender to female. And just a few months later, Jenner said in her new memoir, The Secrets of My Life, that she underwent gender reassignment surgery in January 2017.
Speaking with FastForwardWeb.com, Jenner admitted that a public transition is “not easy” on a family.
“When you do go through something like I’ve gone through in transitioning, and I have a large family, it’s not easy. It’s everybody in the family. It’s a process,” said Jenner, 67.
Jenner also recalled being asked about her 21-year-old daughter, Kendall Jenner, and what her response would be if the professional model announced that she would be transitioning from female to male.
“I remember one time somebody came up and they said, ‘Oh my god, what if—okay, what if Kendall,’ my darling little girl, ‘came up and said that ‘I’m trans and I’m going to transition into a guy.’ My first reaction is ‘Oh my god.’ My little Kendall, my cute and adorable little girl? The initial shock of it was tough, but that’s what parents go through and I understand that,” admitted Jenner.
“So it’s tough on everybody,” she continued.
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But although the trans rights advocate understands that the initial announcement can be difficult for parents to comprehend, she encourages them to fully embrace their children for who they are.
“The thing is, from a parent’s standpoint, especially if a child is identifying as trans at a very young age, just love your child,” Jenner told the website. “Love them, adore them, give them a great place to grow up that’s free and they can be themselves, and the kids will figure it out.”
She continued, “It’s not quite as bad as you think, but most trans women do not have surgery. It’s only about I think 32 percent,” and explained that the percentage is less than half in part because “it’s expensive.”
“But most, as far as getting the time and this and that to be able to do something like that — and what’s between your legs doesn’t define who you are,” said Jenner.