In the interview, Bruce, 65, addressed three decades of speculation about his gender identity. Asked directly whether he identified as a transwoman, Bruce said yes and it was “part of me”.
In response, GLAAD noted on their website:
“At this time, Bruce Jenner has not requested that a new name or pronoun be used, therefore we are respecting his wishes and will continue to refer to Jenner by his current name and with male pronouns. Some transgender people prefer to change their name and/or pronoun quickly. Other transgender people may take more time to decide what name and/or pronoun feels right to them. To be respectful, use the name and/or pronoun requested by the individual.”
Bruce noted the same thing in the 20/20 interview. For now, Bruce would prefer to be called “He.”
In a pre-taped interview with the TODAY Show, Bruce’s ex-stepdaughter Kim Kardashian says the same. That, pre-op, she’s been advised that it’s best to continue to call Bruce by the male pronoun of “He.”
Kim tells Matt Lauer, “Until that transition is done, we learned, you do refer to him as ‘him’.”
That might change in the future. But out of respect, it’s best to call the person the pronoun of their choosing.
If you’re still unsure, GLAAD has issued some more guidelines in a tip sheet specifically written about Bruce.
TIP SHEET: TRANSGENDER TERMINOLOGY AND TIPS FOR COVERING BRUCE JENNER’S ABC INTERVIEW
Please consider the following guidelines when covering Bruce Jenner’s disclosure that he is transgender. This style guide will help you create respectful and accurate stories while avoiding common mistakes and clichés.
DO use the name and pronoun a transgender person prefers. Some transgender people prefer that a new name and/or pronoun be used immediately upon their disclosure that they are transgender. However, other transgender people do not. At this time, Bruce Jenner has not indicated that a new name or pronoun should be used, so please respect his wishes and refer to Bruce Jenner by his current name and with male pronouns until such time as he requests something different.
DO consider including a sentence in your story that explains that you will be referring to Bruce Jenner with his birth name and male pronouns because he has not indicated that he prefers a new name or pronoun be used. This will alert your audience that you are aware of the issue, and have chosen to follow Jenner’s wishes. If Jenner chooses to adopt a new name and/or pronoun in the future, GLAAD will publish an updated Tip Sheet with best practices based on that information.
DO describe people who transition as transgender, and use transgender as an adjective. For example, “Bruce Jenner is a transgender woman.” AVOID statements like “Bruce Jenner is a transgender.” Do NOT use “transgendered” – transgender never needs an extraneous “-ed” at the end. Do NOT use “transsexual” or “transvestite.”
DO refer to Bruce Jenner’s female identity as his gender identity, not his sexual orientation. Gender identity is one’s own internal, deeply held sense of being male or female. Sexual orientation is whom one is attracted to. Gender identity and sexual orientation are separate characteristics and should not be confused or conflated.
DON’T speculate about medical procedures transgender people may or may not choose to undertake as part of their transition. This information is a private matter and is not pertinent to stories about Jenner’s life. Overemphasizing the medical aspects of someone’s transition is reductive and insulting to transgender people.
AVOID the phrase “born a man” when referring to Jenner. If it is necessary to describe for your audience what transgender means, consider: “While Bruce Jenner was assigned male at birth, he identifies as a woman.”