Bruce Jenner was a sideshow on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” for nine seasons, but this year he did something no female Kardashian ever did.
He took over the news cycle.
After months of speculation, Bruce Jenner told Diane Sawyer in April that he was, “for all intents and purposes,” a woman. A month later, he told the world to “call him Caitlyn” on the cover of Vanity Fair.
The media couldn’t wait to get a piece of the action. (RELATED: Bruce Jenner: ‘I Am A Woman’)
Vanity Fair gave Jenner a 22-page spread in the magazine, and Glamour named him “Woman of the Year.” TIME placed him on the shortlist for “Person of the Year,” and Barbara Walters said he was the “Most Fascinating Person of the Year.”
But Jenner has been both praised and savaged by the media. He’s applauded for being “brave” about his very public transition, then criticized for maintaining his traditional, conservative views.
During an episode of his reality show “I Am Cait,” his new pals worried that he wouldn’t make a good spokesman for “the [transgender] community” after he argued that a lot of people become dependent on social welfare programs. (RELATED: Caitlyn Jenner Criticized By Transgender Friends For Conservative Views)
“Don’t a lot of times they can make more not working with social programs than they actually can with an entry-level job?” Jenner asked his friends.
“You don’t want people to get totally dependent on it. That’s when they get in trouble – ‘Why should I work? I got a few bucks, I got my room paid for.'” (VIDEO: Caitlyn Jenner Criticized By Transgender Friends For Conservative Views)
Then he fumbled through a question about gay marriage during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres in September.
“I’m a traditionalist,” Jenner said at the time. “I’m older than most people in the audience. I kind of like tradition, and it’s always been a man and a woman. I’m thinking, ‘I don’t quite get it.’” (VIDEO: Is Caitlyn Jenner Against Gay Marriage?)
DeGeneres later criticized his stance as “confusing.”
“I said, ‘You’re wanting people to understand and accept you – this is like, really confusing to people,'” DeGeneres told Howard Stern. “And you still have a judgement about gay people and marriage.”
Jenner transitioned to a woman in 2015, and in the process, upended our news cycle.