Sharing his truth. Brandon Jenner opened up about the strained relationship he had with Caitlyn Jenner as his parents worked through their divorce.
The 37-year-old singer penned a thoughtful tribute to his dad as part of To Me He Was Just Dad: Stories of Growing Up With Famous Fathers, a collection of essays put together by author Joshua David Stein. In his emotional excerpt, Brandon revealed that he was barely able to see the Olympian, 70, for a period of nearly 20 years. At the time, his parents ended their five-year marriage in 1986 because of Caitlyn’s desire to transition — but the former decathlete didn’t complete the extensive process until January 2017.
“A few years after my parents divorced, Dad apparently decided that it wasn’t the right time to transition and had many of his surgeries reversed. After that, his relationship with my mother [Linda Thompson] grew more hostile,” the singer-songwriter explained. “She had worked hard to accept that the reason he couldn’t be with her was because he was working towards transitioning. When he started dating Kris Jenner, whom he would go on to marry, that line of reasoning fell apart. It was tremendously painful. The effect of my parents’ souring relationship was that I didn’t see my father more than half a dozen times between ages eight and 25.”
Four months after finalizing her divorce from Kris, 64, Caitlyn publicly came out as a trans woman during a powerful 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer in April 2015. Having rebuilt their relationship in the years leading up to Caitlyn’s big decision, Brandon was “the first of her children she confided in” about her transition.
“As soon as Dad said it herself, I was so happy for her,” the Princes of Malibu alum concluded. “As her son, I wish my dad had been able to transition sooner, not only because I think she would have been happier, but because I think we could have built a stronger relationship earlier. Now, I’m making up for lost time.”
The father-son duo have certainly done the work to heal their bond since Caitlyn came out. Before Brandon welcomed twin sons Bo and Sam with Cayley Stoker in February, the I Am Cait star told Us Weekly the sweet way her son broke the news that two more Jenners were on the way.
“He actually put a sign up on the property next door,” Caitlyn gushed in November 2019. “And he goes, ‘We’ll walk around his property with Cayley.’ [Then] he goes, ‘Oh, my God, what’s that sign over there?’ … So he gets the binoculars out and he’s looking in [and] goes, ‘Oh, look what it says.’ So he hands the binoculars to me. And the sign says: ‘We’re gonna have a baby.’ … I’m very blessed.”
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