Vanity Fair has introduced Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce, in a stunning shoot by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz.
The high profile début sees the transgender reality TV star and former Olympic athlete posing for a 22 page story and the cover of the July edition of the magazine.
Jenner appears radiant, basking in the glow of presenting herself as she really is to the rest of the world for the first time
“This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. 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, OK. This is about your life,” said Jenner in a behind-the-scenes video.
In the interview with Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author, Buzz Bissinger, Jenner revealed that she initially suffered a panic attack the day after undergoing a 10-hour facial-feminization surgery in March. She recalled thinking, “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?”
Jenner also commented that, “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.”
Bissinger spent hundreds of hours with Jenner over a period of three months for the story and also interviewed Jenner’s four children from his first two marriages, in which they described him as an intensive and absent father.
Said son Burt: “I have high hopes that Caitlyn is a better person than Bruce. I’m very much looking forward to that.”
On her new Twitter profile, Jenner wrote: “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”
Jenner came out as transgender in a television interview with Diane Sawyer in April, stating: “My brain is much more female than male. For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.”
At the time, Jenner didn’t divulge her female name. The show drew huge ratings in the US and was watched by almost 17 million people.
“I’m not doing this to be interesting. I’m doing this to live,” Jenner told Bissinger in the new interview.
The LGBT media lobby group GLAAD welcomed the Vanity Fair article. “By sharing her journey with the world, Caitlyn Jenner is accelerating acceptance of transgender people everywhere and reminds us all how important it is to live as your most authentic self,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
“For a transgender person to step into the world as his or her authentic self is a moment of tremendous freedom,” added Nick Adams, GLAAD’s Director of Programs, Transgender Media. “The world can now see what Caitlyn Jenner has always known, that she is – and always has been – a woman.”
Watch the behind-the-scenes video of Jenner’s Vanity Fair photo shoot below.