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Caitlyn Jenner: ‘I’m more fun than Bruce’

Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner used to struggle with suicidal thoughts.
Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner used to struggle with suicidal thoughts.

After a tumultuous few months and 65 years of living a lie, Caitlyn Jenner has never looked happier. Known for decades as Bruce, the Olympic decathlete who won gold at the 1976 games in Montreal, Caitlyn was glowing as she strolled around the Japanese gardens at the Four Seasons Hotel in California recently.

In fact, since she unveiled her true self – a woman – on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in June, the E! star has hardly been seen without a smile.

”I’m so happy after such a long struggle to finally be living my true self,” Caitlyn wrote on her Twitter page, shortly after the cover was revealed to the world.

It’s been a long and winding road for the reality star, whose carefully choreographed public rollout as a transgender woman also included an interview with American TV journalist Diane Sawyer. This was followed by the recent ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) awards, where she received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award – given to individuals whose bravery ”transcends sports”.

Yet her own happiness seems to be the least of her concerns. Caitlyn has become outspoken about the plight of the transgender community.

”This transition has been harder on me than anything I could ever imagine, and that’s the case for so many like me,” she told the crowd at the ESPYs. ”If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead. Because the reality is, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it. Trans people deserve something vital,” she continued, her eyes welling with tears. ”They deserve your respect, and from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society and a better world for all of us.”

In I am Cait, her documentary series which premiered in New Zealand on E! last Monday, Caitlyn grapples with her responsibility as a public advocate for the community.

”Am I going to do everything right? Am I going to say the right things?” she asks, admitting she lies awake worrying about how to be a good role model. “I feel bad that young people are going through such a difficult time in their life. We don’t want people dying for this. We don’t want people murdered for this stuff.”

This is the dark side of the transgender community that Caitlyn hopes to shed light on throughout the eight-part reality show. In the first episode, the star confessed that she was racked with suicidal thoughts at her lowest ebb.

”I’ve been in some dark places. I have been in my house with a gun and said, ’Let’s just end it right there, no more pain, no more suffering.’”

She also shared her worries about what her decision would do to her family. Even though her children and stepchildren insist they were on board from the start, the only ones who had met Caitlyn at the time of filming the show were her stepdaughter Kim Kardashian West (34), and daughters Kendall (19) and Kylie (17).

”They keep saying to me openly that everything is great. ’We want you to live your life.’ And then they never show up,” says Caitlyn.

Despite all of her doubts, the TV star is clearly enjoying the lighter side of her transition – fashion, parties and simply living her life as she is finally able to embrace who she really is. Caitlyn has appeared in a number of glamorous outfits since her debut as a woman, most recently donning a Versace gown to the ESPYs.

And while she has been making a name for herself with her fashion choices, it’s her smile that’s got everyone talking.

”Once they meet Caitlyn, they go, ’She’s way more fun than Bruce ever was,’” Caitlyn said beaming.

It’s true – happiness looks even better on her than Versace!

WATCH: Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPYs speech

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