Caitlyn Jenner is opening up about how her transition from a man into a woman affected her role as a dad to her ten children. During an interview on Rob Lowe‘s podcast, Literally!, Jenner got pretty candid about her role as a dad.
As many people may know, Caitlyn was assigned male at birth, but in April 2015, the former Olympic gold medalist came out as transgender and began to transition to her preferred gender, female. Having grown up in the 1950s and 1960s, Jenner told Lowe that transgender “wasn’t even a word back then. So, I found ways to just distract myself from those feelings.”
Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner Says Her Early Battle With Her True Identity Made Her a Bad Father
Nonetheless, Jenner also said from an early age she was infatuated with her sisters’ stuff. “I was never comfortable with my identity, even as a very young kid. Parents would leave, I was fascinated by my sister’s clothes, never comfortable in my own shoes, fascinated with all that kind of stuff. But, you keep your mouth shut, you know?”
Jenner added that she even became one of the best athletes in the world because even though she was struggling with her identity, athletics are a “great way to prove your manhood.” But it was after she retired, after she married for the third time, and after she was a dad of 10, six of them biological, that Jenner decided to fully embrace who she was on the inside.
In fact, Jenner believes that if she were just an average guy, sports may have come along, and she would have never made it a point to excel in the way that she did. If she were average, she would have never “needed” sports in the way that she ultimately did.
And when sports came to an end, Jenner found other ways to distract herself from who she really was, and that was her family. Calling her kids a “distraction” during the podcast interview, she admitted she knows her kids hate when she says that. But regardless of them being that for her, she says she loves being a dad and always had.
And while that was great for her, Jenner candidly told Lowe that it wasn’t great for her kids. During the period Jenner was transitioning and coming into her own, she admittedly lost focus of the most important part of her—being a dad.
From 1984 to 1990, Caitlyn Jenner said she struggled the most with her identity. It was immediately following her second divorce, she was living in a small home in Malibu, no one to really talk to, she was beginning her transition in silence and sneaking around at night living her true identity. Jenner described those six years as incredibly lonely.
The retired athlete also struggled with being a parent. “Those years, I was not a good parent. I had four kids. I was too busy struggling with my own issues and my own self. I very much regret that, that I wasn’t there more for my young kids. But I was extraordinarily lonely.”
Then in 1990, Jenner was introduced to Kris and they hit it off right away. And from there all the steps she was taking towards transitioning had stopped. But that doesn’t mean Kris didn’t save her life by picking her up off the ground at his lowest point.
Jenner told Lowe that she told Kris about her issues, but still she never believed that after marrying Kris, she would choose to continue her transition 25 years later. Nonetheless, Caitlyn Jenner calls the years being married to Kris and raising their kids together, great years.
She had also explained that while her transition had very little to do with the demise of her 23-year marriage to Kris Jenner, with whom she shares two children with, Kendall and Kylie, she was short “a little bit shorter with [Kris] near the end” because of her “frustration with myself.”
When they ultimately did separate and divorce, Jenner found herself living in Malibu on her own again. This time in a much bigger house and this time she was 63 years old. And life had become full circle for her, but Caitlyn Jenner wasn’t going to shy away from the opportunity she had in front of her, not this time, not after sixty years of struggling with her identity.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.