Covering the latest issue of Vanity Fair in a cream-colored corset, the Olympian opened up about her transition to the magazine, detailing everything from her 10-hour facial-feminization surgery to having “girls’ nights” with her daughter.
“This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person,” Jenner, 65, began. “It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”
Here’s what else Jenner would like you to know about her life since completing her gender transition.
1. She had a panic attack after undergoing facial-feminization surgery.
Jenner, who underwent a 10-hour facial-feminization surgery on March 15, said she thought the procedure would only take five hours and broke down the day after it happened. “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?” Jenner recalled thinking, before adding that a counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center assured her that the reaction was induced by pain medication and “second-guessing was human and temporary.” Jenner has not had genital surgery.
2. Since then, she’s had no second thoughts about becoming a woman.
Jenner said, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.”
3. She won’t mind if you accidentally use the wrong pronoun.
After interviewer Buzz Bissinger apologized for using the wrong pronoun, Jenner revealed she’s not too sensitive about the whole. “I don’t really get hung up,” she tells him. “A guy came in the other day and I was fully dressed—it’s just habit, I said, ‘Hi, Bruce here,’ and I went, Oh fuck, it ain’t Bruce, I was screwing up doing it.”
4. She thinks Caitlyn will be a better parent than Bruce.
Jenner described Bruce as “an insensitive father who had been absent for years at a time” and regrets the mistakes he’s made with the children from his first two marriages: Burt, 36, Cassandra, 34, Brandon, 33, and Brody, 31. All four children told the publication Jenner’s transition is a non-issue because they’ve all known Jenner’s identity as a woman for quite some time. Burt and Cassandra said they had learned from their mother, Chrystie Crownover, when they were 13 and 11 respectively. Brandon said he assumed Jenner identified as a woman because of the physical changes he observed. Brody said he was told by his mother, Linda Thompson, when he was 29.
5. She flashed her new breasts to son Brandon after the surgery.
Jenner pulled up her top to son Brandon after her procedure because he seemed a little taken back seeing her as Caitlyn. “Whoa, I’m still your son,” he recalled saying to her.
6. She has “girls’ nights” with her family.
As part of her transition, Jenner started to throw little gatherings at her Malibu, Calif. home where she could dress how she wanted to dress and feel natural amongst other women. Wine and cheeses were served.
7. She was hurt when her children didn’t want to be in her docu-series.
Jenner said she was “terribly disappointed and terribly hurt” to learn that Burt, Cassandra, Brandon and Brody didn’t want to participate in her E! docu-series premiering this summer. Jenner accepted the decision after they explained that they didn’t want to seem like they were making money off the transition story.
8. She’s ready for haters to say her transition is a publicity stunt and a cash grab.
“‘Oh, she’s doing a stupid reality show. She’s doing it for the money. She’s doing this, she’s doing that.’ I’m not doing it for money,” Jenner assured. “I’m doing it to help my soul and help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. [I have] house payments and all that kind of stuff. I will never make an excuse for something like that. Yeah, this is a business. You don’t go out and change your gender for a television show. O.K., it ain’t happening. I don’t care who you are.” She hopes the series will help lower the rates of suicides and attempted suicides in the transgender community.
9. She’s been getting a lot of fanmail ever since her interview with Diane Sawyer.
Jenner, who announced she identified as a woman in an interview with the journalist earlier this year, said “it’s exciting to go to the mailbox” and read all the kind words people have sent her. “I get letters every day from all of these people from all over the world.”
10. She looks forward to living her life as a woman.
Jenner can’t wait to tell paparazzi to “make sure it’s a good shot” instead of shielding herself as she leaves a local Starbucks. She added that she’ll continue to throw her girls’ nights “where everybody is treating you the same way. You can talk about anything you want to talk about. You can talk about outfits. You can talk about hair and makeup, anything you want. It becomes not a big deal.”
11. She’s ready to stop telling lies.
Jenner told the publication that Bruce was “always telling lies” but Caitlyn “doesn’t have any lies.” She also recalled appearing at public events after winning the gold medal, where “underneath my suit I have a bra and panty hose and this and that and thinking to myself, They know nothing about me. … Little did they know I was totally empty inside.”
12. She still into golf.
“I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live,” Jenner explained, jokingly adding. “I’m not doing this so I can hit it off the women’s tee.” She added she hopes to film segment on her show in which she sees if she can still hit a golf ball 300 yards off the tee.