Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, was introduced to the world yesterday through a groundbreaking cover feature in Vanity Fair. The 22-page story offers an intimate and in-depth look into the past 40 years of the life of an American icon and record-holding Olympian who was never comfortable in his own skin. Now with her transition complete, Caitlyn has revealed her true self and spoken with such profound honesty about her life as Bruce, her family and the transition process. Here are the most resonating facts we learned about Caitlyn Jenner:
1. Jenner had gone through various stages of hormone therapy in the 1980s that increased her breast size, and had her facial hair removed through a very painful two-year electrolysis process.
2. She once considered changing her name and leaving the country, to return as a woman named Heather and be known as Aunt Heather to her four young children.
3. She secretly wore pantyhose and a bra under her suit on occasions to feel more in touch with her identity.
4. Caitlyn had a 10-hour facial-feminization surgery that she thought would take only five hours.
5. Caitlyn had a brief panic attack on her first day of recovery, wondering if she made a mistake, but after she spoke with a counsellor from the Los Angeles Gender Centre, the feeling passed.
6. Even Caitlyn is still adjusting to the name change: “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 f-ck, it ain’t Bruce,’ I was screwing up doing it.”
7. Caitlyn has not had genital surgery and it is undetermined if she will have it.
8. The four eldest Jenner children, Burton, Cassandra, Brandon and Brody, will not make appearances in the new E! docu-series, I Am Cait, which premieres on July 26 and is produced by the same company who makes Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
9. Caitlyn explains that it wasn’t just the gender issue that led to her divorce to Kris Jenner. “Twenty percent was gender and 80 percent was the way I was treated.”
10. In December 2013, TMZ had information that Bruce had just gone in for a consultation on a tracheal shave. Jenner begged TMZ not to release anything, saying it would “destroy lives,” but they did anyways. When the news was released, Bruce had considered suicide with a gun he had in his house, but decided not to do it. It was then that he realized he had to tell his children and come up with a plan to go public with his transition.
11. Caitlyn hosts “girls’ nights” to be able to dress the way she wants and comfortably speak with other women. On one of these nights, her eldest daughter Cassandra met Caitlyn for the first time, and she said, “We talked more than we ever have. We could just be girls together.”
12. Caitlyn watched the Diane Sawyer interview twice, once with the Kardashian clan and the other with the four Jenner children. “Was it tough to watch? Of course it was. I never thought in a million years I would ever have to divulge such private, intimate feelings I’ve had all my life… I was also excited to get it off my chest. Scared but excited.”
13. At the end of her photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz, Caitlyn compared the experience with that of winning the gold medal at the Olympics. “That was a good day. But the last couple of days were better.”
The full cover story hits newsstands June 9, or you can get special access when you subscribe to Vanity Fair’s digital edition on iPhone or iPad.