Transgender Community Hopeful After Bruce Jenner’s Announcement

The name Bruce Jenner may bring to mind different things to different people, like the Olympic athlete, or Kim Kardashian’s step dad.

With an announcement last week, he is now the most famous face in the transgender community.

His personal struggles are not unique, and many in northwest Arkansas are hoping his announcement will help change stereotypes and stigmas moving forward.

Justine Turnage and Dale Manning watched Bruce Jenner’s interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, often nodding, understanding what he’s going through and feeling what he’s feeling.

“It was really nice to see that yes, this person really is relatable,” said Justine Turnage, Vice President of the Transgender Equality Network.

Bruce Jenner says he still wants to be referred to with male pronouns, but identifies as a woman.

“He took so much time and took a long time to get to where he is now,” said Dale Manning, President, Transgender Equality Network.

Dale Manning spent 20 years uncomfortable in his body.

“I grew up being a drag queen, because that’s a lot of what it felt like,” said Manning who was born female.

Justine Turnage was born a boy, grew up, got married and had a child.

“I’ve always been a woman I just didn’t look like one,” said Turnage.

Four years ago, Turnage decided to transition to a woman.

“My daughter absolutely loves it and she thinks it’s great she has another person to do girly stuff with,” said Turnage.

Dale and Justine say watching the Olympic gold medalist turned reality star share his story gives them hope.

“It was very honest, it was very open and it was imperfect, which believe it or not is good, because it portrays transgender people as human,” said Manning.

“It’s refreshing to see that change, how we’re being approached in a much more human manner,” said Turnage.

Dale Manning and Justine Turnage work with the Transgender Equality Network. If you’d like to learn more about them you can click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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