Linda Thompson: Ex-Wife of Bruce Jenner Talks of His Ongoing Transition

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Linda Thompson was Bruce Jenner's second wife. Shortly after Diane Sawyer's interview with Bruce Jenner aired on 20/20 Friday evening, Thompson shared her feelings about Jenner's ongoing transition with the Huffington Post.

Bruce Jenner and Linda Thompson were husband and wife from 1981 to 1984. She and Bruce are parents to Brandon and Brody Jenner.

In her op-ed for the Huffington Post, Thompson reflected on Bruce Jenner--the man she once called her husband.

"I never would have dared to speak on this issue before he was comfortable enough to do so first," she shared.

She started off by describing Bruce Jenner--the athlete.

"Bruce was pretty much the perfect specimen of a man," she wrote. "The Bruce I knew back then was unstudied, affable, and seemingly very comfortable in his own skin. So it seemed."

Linda Thompson said there were no clues that Bruce was living a lie--as he said numerous times during his interview with Diane Sawyer on Friday. She had no clue, in fact, until he confessed his true feelings to her.

"When Brody was about 18-months-old and Brandon was about three-and-a-half-years-old, Bruce came to me one day with a very somber look on his face and said, 'There's something about me that I really need to tell you, something you need to know,'" she wrote.

"Bruce lamented, 'I have lived in the wrong skin, the wrong body, my whole life. It is a living hell for me, and I really feel that I would like to move forward with the process of becoming a woman, the woman I have always been inside,'" she added.

Linda Thompson says for a while she believed she could 'fix' Bruce Jenner.

"I was pretty ignorant of the fact that being transgender isn't something that can be overcome, fixed, prayed away, exorcised or obliterated by any other arcane notion," she wrote.

After about six months of therapy--because of Bruce's feelings and confession--Linda Thompson and Bruce Jenner got divorced.

Of Bruce's position--and his interview on Friday--Linda Thompson speaks very kindly--almost lovingly about her ex-husband.

"It's impossible for those of us who are comfortable living in our own skin to fully grasp what an imprisonment that must feel like to be born into the wrong body," she wrote. "Bruce has already 'gone through the fire...t is certainly not our place to judge him or others who may feel trapped, ostracized, or alone."

If only more people could have the compassion Linda Thompson very clearly possesses. Perhaps then, fewer people would suffer as long as Bruce Jenner has suffered, and they would have a much easier time of admitting their transgender status to their loved ones and friends.

Regardless of how Bruce Jenner and Linda Thompson feel about each other as divorcees, he no doubt appreciates her acceptance and kind words.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.