Source: Bruce Jenner began transgender journey in 1980s, then stopped after meeting Kris Jenner

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Source: Bruce Jenner Began Transgender Journey in 1980s, Then Stopped After Meeting Kris Jenner

ET has exclusive new information about when Bruce Jenner began his gender transition.

A source with direct knowledge told ET that Jenner talked about transitioning 30 years ago, and that by the mid-1980s Jenner had started hormone therapy, electrolysis and had plastic surgery to make his features look more feminine. Jenner found his own facial hair to be repulsive, the source told ET.

NEWS: Bruce Jenner's Emotional New Promo: 'How Does My Story End?'

The pioneer transgender tennis player Renee Richard's 1983 autobiography, Second Serve, had a major influence on Jenner, according to the source. In 1986, the book was made into a TV movie starring Vanessa Redgraves that opened to critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination.

The source told ET that it was around this time when Jenner began exploring the option of reassignment surgery with doctors in Denmark -- but that he backed off shortly after he started seeing Kris Kardashian Jenner.

The Olympic gold medalist had breast reduction surgery and halted hormone injections, the source said. According to Jenner's 1996 self-help book Finding the Champion Within, Bruce and Kris first met in September 1990, quickly became engaged and then wed in April 1991.

NEWS: Bruce Jenner's Gender Expression Reportedly Fueled "Massive Arguments" with Kris Jenner

Today, Dr. Phil praised Jenner for his courage.

"I am so happy for him," Dr. Phil told ET. "This is his body and his life, and he needs to do what he wants to do. It drains your spirit if you can't be yourself. He is freeing himself."

NEWS: First Promo for Bruce Jenner's 20/20 Sit-Down

This comes as Jenner's 20/20 special with Diane Sawyer airs Friday, April 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. So far, the promos for the interview have been vague, but according to the Associated Press, this is intentional, as potentially "outing" a public figure as transgender before the person has a chance to publicly address the topic themselves is frowned upon.


51 PHOTOS
Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner through the years
See Gallery
Source: Bruce Jenner began transgender journey in 1980s, then stopped after meeting Kris Jenner
Glamour's "The Transgender Champion" honoree, Caitlyn Jenner, attends the 25th Annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Jul 1976: Bruce Jenner of the USA celebrates during his record setting performance in the decathlon in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada. Mandatory Credit: Tony Duffy /Allsport
Bruce Jenner (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC Sportscasters -- Pictured: Bruce Jenner -- (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Bruce Jenner starts his upward climb in the pole vault during the final day's competition on Thursday, April 24, 1975 in the decathlon at the 66th drake relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Olympian Jenner, third going into the final five events, took the lead after nine events and capture the title with 8139 points - best scored recorded in the world this season. Jenner represents the San Jose stars. (AP Photo)
1976 Olympic Games, Montreal, Canada, Men's Decathlon, USA's gold medal winner Bruce Jenner (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
CANADA - JULY 30: Leader of the pack: Not succumbing to the temptation to run an easy 1;500 metres; the decathlon gold medal being already assured; Bruce Jenner of the United States strides out in front yesterday on his way to 4:12.81 clocking; excellent for a participant in 10-event combination. His total of 8;618 points broke world record he set earlier this year. In 10 events he achieved 4 career bests; tied one. (Photo by Ron Bull/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
American decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner is shown throwing the javelin in Olympic competition in Montreal, July 30, 1976. (AP Photo)
Bruce Jenner (U.S. decathlon Gold Medalist) shown receiving Gold decathlon medal at the XXI Olympic held in Montreal, July 30, 1976, from July17-August 1. Jenner won the decathlon. He is from San Jose. Ca. (AP Photo)
Bruce Jenner and Linda Thompson during Muscular Dystrophy Benefit at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 25: Charlie Jones (left), Bruce Jenner (center, with child), and Ahmad Rashad commentate for television during the Bruce Jenner Bud Light Classic track meet held on May 25, 1985 at San Jose City College in San Jose, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
Bruce Jenner during Las Hadas Sweet Sixteen Celebrity Sports Invitational at Las Hadas, Mexico in Las Hadas, Mexico, Mexico. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - 1991: Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner pose for a portrait in 1991 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Donaldson Collection/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1991: (Middle row, L-R) Brody Jenner, Kourtney Kardashian, Bruce Jenner, Kris Jenner, Cassandra Jenner, Kim Kardashian, (top row, L-R) Brandon Jenner, Burton Jenner,(bottom row, L-R) Robert Kardashian, Jr., Khloe Kardashian of the celebrity Jenner and Kardashian families featured in the TV show 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' pose for a family portrait in 1991 in Los Angeles, California . (Photo by Maureen Donaldson/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 25: Bruce Jenner watches the action during the 1991 Bruce Jenner track meet held at San Jose City College in San Jose, California on May 25, 1991. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
Kris Kardashian and Bruce Jenner during 1995 Jim Thorpe Pro Sports Awards at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Kris Kardashian, Bruce Jenner and Kendall Jenner (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner speaks June 11, 2001 during the 2001 Service to America Awards Presentation Ceremony in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Bruce Jenner during 16th Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular at Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California, United States. (Photo by J. P. Aussenard/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 12: Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner attend the world premiere of 'Ali' on December 12, 2001 at Grauman Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Bruce Jenner during 2003 Celebrity Sports Invitational Ski Event in Squaw Valley at Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, California, United States. (Photo by A. Nevader/WireImage for InStyle Magazine)
BEL AIR, CA - MARCH 13: Olympian Bruce Jenner attends 'The 22nd Annual Jimmy Stewart Relay Marathon And Family Expo Kickoff' at the Hotel Bel Air on March 13, 2003 in Bel Air, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 11: Olympian Bruce Jenner and his family attend the film premiere of 'Holes' at the El Capitan Theater on April 11, 2003 in Hollywood, California. The film opens in theaters nationwide on April 18, 2003. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Bruce Jenner during 'Along Came Polly' Premiere at Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Bruce Jenner and Brody Jenner during 2005 ESPY Awards - Red Carpet at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Bruce Jenner during Dream Foundation's 'A Day To Dream' - July 24, 2005 at Santa Barbara Zoo in Santa Barbara, California, United States. (Photo by Eric Isaacs/FilmMagic)
Bruce Jenner and family during E! Entertainment Television's 2005 Summer Splash Event - Arrivals at Tropicana at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Bruce Jenner during Midsummer Night's Dream: A Magic Night of Poker - Arrivals at The Avalon in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 09: Bruce Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner at the 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' premiere party on October 9, 2007 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
TV personality Brody Jenner and father Bruce Jenner pose for the cameras at the 8th Annual Playboy Golf Scramble Championship Finals held at Industry Hills Golf Club at the Pacific Palms Conference Resort on March 28, 2008 in Industry Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 05: TV personality Bruce Jenner arrives at the 44th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand on April 5, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 05: Bruce Jenner sighting on July 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA - OCTOBER 24: Television personality Bruce Jenner arrives at the Stand Up For Kids Annual Dinner and Auction on October 24, 2009 in Westlake Village, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13: Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Kevin Kane/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 07: (L-R) TV personalities Kim Kardashian, Bruce Jenner and Kris Jenner attend the Bravada International launch party hosted by Kardashian at The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove on April 7, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 11: TV personalities Kris Jenner (L) and Bruce Jenner attend the Endless Youth & Life store opening celebration on November 11, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - JUNE 10: Television personalities Bruce Jenner (L) and his wife Kris Jenner appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at the NBC Studios on June 10, 2011 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Tonight Show/Getty Images for The Tonight Show)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Bruce Jenner and Hoda Kotb appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Bruce Jenner and Kris Jenner arrive at the Brent Shapiro Foundation: The Summer Spectacular on September 15, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 723 -- Pictured: Bruce Jenner -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Bruce Jenner arrives at the Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)
LAS VEGAS - APRIL 4: Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner hits a tee shot during the first round of ARIA Resort & Casino's 12th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tournament at Shadow Creek on April 4, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 08: TV personalities Brody Jenner (L) and Bruce Jenner pose at the Brandon and Leah album release party for 'Cronies' on April 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - MAY 06: TV personality Bruce Jenner attends The 6th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic To Benefit The Lopez Foundation at Lakeside Golf Club on May 6, 2013 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for The Lopez Foundation)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 845 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bruce Jenner with host Jimmy Fallon during an interview on June 4, 2013 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Bruce Jenner arrives at the Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Bruce Jenner arrives at the All Sports Film Festival closing ceremony at El Portal Theatre on November 11, 2013 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Bruce Jenner arrives for Ryan Sheckler's 7th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament at Trump National Golf Course on September 29, 2014 in Palos Verdes Estates, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 15, 2015 file photo, Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg approved Jenner's name and gender change during a brief hearing in Santa Monica, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 25. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners