When Monica Lewinsky heard that Caitlyn Jenner cited her TED Talk as an inspiration to share her story, the anti-bullying activist activist tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “I was shocked and gratified.”
“It made me feel that every tear I shed trying to write the speech, and the anxiety and fear that I overcame to do that was worth it,” Lewinsky, 42, says of her discussion on public shame striking a chord with Jenner.
[IMAGE “1” “” “std” ]”I admire the way that Caitlyn has stepped forward honestly and bravely and insisted on a different ending to her story and it being on her own terms in an authentic way,” she says.
Lewinsky, like Jenner, has faced bullying in the past and commends the way the former Olympian rewrote her story.
“I think that [Jenner] has also been a wonderful role model that way for the LGBTQ Community,” she says. “That the more people are living their truth, the less afraid people will have to be and the less difficult it will be for people.”
Lewinsky adds, “The more society becomes accepting of these kinds of things, that is the kind of culture shift that we are looking to have because that will then diminish and reduce the bullying, and cyber-bullying, and online harassment and shaming, which has come to plague our culture.”
For more from Lewinsky, pick up a copy of this week’s PEOPLE, on newsstands now