Being honored as one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year in New York on Monday, Bruce Jenner praised political correctness for silencing critics of his gender transition.
Addressing a crowd at Carnegie Hall, the former Olympian said his June Vanity Fair cover story changed the conversation within the transgender community, and noted critics of his life choices had been silenced by labels.
“No longer can the media say bad things about you because then they’d be homophobic,” he said.
He said that living as a woman thus far has been “the most eye-opening experience of my life,” and explained he went through “many, many years of isolation” before coming out as a woman.
“Now…I actually like going out, and I like being myself,” said Bruce. “I’m very happy to be living on the other side.”
“I came to the conclusion that, you know what? Maybe this is why God put me on this earth, to tell my story … and maybe make a difference in the world. What a great opportunity in life to have,” he said.
“I never in a million years ever thought I’d be here,” Bruce said. “And I’m sure you didn’t either.”
Transgender actor Laverne Cox won Glamour’s Woman of the Year accolade last year.
Jenner’s inclusion in this year’s ceremony sparked a backlash on social media last month, as many questioned what the reality TV star has accomplished that qualifies as being a real woman, aside from cosmetic surgery and makeup.
“Glamour endorses the idea that men are better at being women than we are,” wrote Nicole Russell of The Federalist. “Jenner might feel like he is a woman… he might want to be a woman, he might be living as a woman, but thoughts do not generate biology or reality.”
Page Six reports Glamour’s editor-in-chief, Cindi Leive, also told the Associated Press that criticism over Jenner’s presence at the women’s event “certainly gives you an appreciation for the hostility to the trans community that still exists out there.”