Area residents react to Bruce Jenner interview - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Area residents react to Bruce Jenner interview

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(Image Courtesy: MGN Online / ABC News) (Image Courtesy: MGN Online / ABC News)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Last Friday's Diane Sawyer exclusive interview with Bruce Jenner has certainly had a lot buzz around it - both positive and negative.

Today, Western Mass News spoke with local LGBT activists to see how they feel the interview will impact that transgender community.

"For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," Jenner told Sawyer during the interview.

After Jenner shared with the world last Friday night he will now be true to himself, local LGBT activists are speaking out.

"The benefit it has is anytime a community that's so suppressed, that it has to hide because of social penalties, whenever that visibility and education is increased, it can only benefit the community in the long run," said Ben Power, a local transgender activist.

As a senior transgender man, Power can relate to Jenner's journey and says this is just another step in the right direction for the community.

Power added, "To experience who they really are before they die, that speaks volumes for the oppression."

Residents agree.

"I'm all for him coming out, whatever his identity is. He's probably getting negative internet problems, so I hope she has supportive people in her life.," said Lizzy Snow.

Some worry Jenner could taint reality for older generation, but still applaud his efforts.

"I worry that he'll be the experience they have and his experience of him being of privilege and some of his choices are really representative, but more power to him and the exposure he's gotten," Liz Ellis added.

In the end, Power says it's another voice in the community - spreading awareness is a victory for them all.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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