MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When Bruce Jenner joined Diane Sawyer for an exclusive interview on ABC Friday night, he made a statement that would change his life forever—and many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community hope it’s an opportunity for change.
“When he let his hair down and said, ‘I am a woman,’ I think that changed the whole narrative of the transgender community. He is, after all, a champion and we need a champion,” said Lauren Foster, a transgender Miami model and actress.
Foster who was on The Real Housewives of Miami knows what it’s like to go public—and how terrifying it could be.
Foster was the first transgender to appear in Vogue Magazine. She transitioned when she was just 18 few people knew. Shortly after her face graced the pages of the Vogue, another model sold her story to a tabloid.
“Were you fine when you were outed, were you almost happy?” asked CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.
“At that time in 1984 I wasn’t happy, because I was living my life as a woman. There’s no turning back now and it happened. I’m definitely out now. There’s no turning back now.” Lauren said.
So at the age 65, when Jenner decided to tell the world, Foster called his move a giant act of bravery, one that will open doors and save lives.
“The suicide rate is huge in America,” Foster said. “Eight-percent of Americans knew a transgender person Friday night now millions know a transgender woman because they know Bruce Jenner.”
Foster, who has worked hand-in-hand with the LGBT community for years said the interview not only stifles the transgender stigma but will hopefully bring some understanding to those who have been so opposed to it.
“I think it’s very relevant and the I think the next couple of years are going to bring the transgender narrative to the forefront and everyone is going to understand what a transgender person is,” Foster said.
This continues to be a hot topic, The Betsy Hotel on South Beach will have their first ever event showcasing transgender artists called TRANSART. For more info: www.unitycoalition.com