"This issue doesn’t deserve to be in the gutter anymore": Caitlyn Jenner talks in-depth about her transition in SI cover story

From a young age, Jenner had to "convince myself that the woman living inside of me really isn’t living inside me"

By Brendan Gauthier

Published June 28, 2016 5:06PM (EDT)

Caitlyn Jenner (Evan Agostini/invision/ap)
Caitlyn Jenner (Evan Agostini/invision/ap)

Caitlyn Jenner appears on the cover of next week's edition of Sports Illustrated.

Jenner, then known as Bruce, won a gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Since then, she's become part of the Kardashian reality TV dynasty, transitioned from male to female and narrowly avoided a manslaughter conviction.

In an accompanying profile, Jenner, 66, recalls waking up in a Montreal hotel room the morning after winning gold, staring naked in the mirror, and facing an existentialist dilemma.

"[My body] disgusted me," she told SI writer Tim Layden. "I was big and thick and masculine. The rest of the world thought it was this Greek god kind of body. I hated it. But it’s what I was given, so I just tried to do the best I could with it."

Thirteen years later, in 1989, Jenner said she had started taking hormones and considered transitioning at that time, but "it just wasn't time."

"It wasn’t time in my life, and it wasn’t time in society," she said. "The issue was totally misunderstood."

In 2014, thrice divorced and living alone in Malibu, she decided "I wasn’t going to continue to lie to myself."

Jenner said she considers the über-publicity of her transition a means of bringing awareness to gender issues.

"Maybe I could make a difference," she said. "This issue doesn’t deserve to be in the gutter anymore."

Read the full cover story over at Sports Illustrated.

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Caitlyn Jenner Lgbt Sports Illustrated Transgender