April 24, 2015 09:05 PM

Bruce Jenner is finally sharing his story.

The former Olympian spoke publicly for the first time about transitioning from male to female in an interview with Diane Sawyer on 20/20 on Friday night.

“I would say I’ve always been very confused with my gender identity since I was this big,” said Jenner, 65, tearing up. “I tried to explain it, because I’ve had all my kids sitting in that chair and I’ve tried to explain it this way. God’s looking down, making little Bruce he says ‘Okay, what are gonna do with this one. Make him a smart kid, very determined … and then when he’s just finishing he says, ‘Let’s wait a second.’

“God looks down and chuckles a little bit and says, ‘Hey, let’s give him the soul of a female.’ ”

This is the last interview Jenner will do as “Bruce,” Sawyer said, adding that Jenner refers to his true identity as “her.”

“Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie,” Jenner said. “I can’t do it anymore.”

Jenner said he began cross-dressing as a child and took hormones for five years in the ’80s. Ex-wife Kris Jenner knew about his habit, he said, and both stepdaughter Kim Kardashian West and daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner caught him wearing women’s clothing around the house.

When he came clean to the entire family a few months ago, “they all cried,” he said, “namely because they didn’t want anyone to hurt Dad.”

PEOPLE confirmed his transition back in January, after months of speculation over the reality star’s changing appearance ever since splitting from Kris, his wife of 22 years.

A father of six and stepdad to the four Kardashian siblings, Jenner was married twice before he wed Kris.

A source close to him previously told PEOPLE that the couple’s breakup helped Jenner come to terms with his identity.

“Once he realize he was done taking a backseat in his own life,” the source said, “he knew it was time to be honest with himself.”

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