“That was a culture-changing moment,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis tells PEOPLE of the soul-baring 20/20 interview Jenner, 65, did with Diane Sawyer last month.
“It was a tectonic shift for the trans community. For the first time, about 20 million people in America met somebody who’s transgender. You can’t really do that in any other way or with somebody who’s even better suited for it because Bruce has always been a champion in the past and is now a new kind of champion.”
Jenner will also be starring in his own docuseries on E! to detail his transition, About Bruce, which is set to debut on July 26.
Jennifer Finney Boylan, an out trans advocate and author (and also the cochair of GLAAD’s board of directors), is consulting on the eight-part series and says Jenner “is in seventh heaven” gearing up for the show and about sharing his truth.
“Imagine what it’s like to have a secret your whole life, then to unveil the secret in this very public way,” says Boylan. “It’s scary, but it’s also someone who is feeling jubilant.”
One of the biggest challenges going into the series is how to broach such private matters, Boylan adds.
“There are a lot of things that people are curious about that are in fact none of their business, which is exactly the same as the sex lives of anybody, whether they’re straight or gay, cis or trans,” says Boylan. “There’s a kind of cart blanche to ask kind of anything, and trans people who want to be accepted and who hope to create that acceptance through education have kind of felt obligated to answer every embarrassing question.
“So I think that as the show is done, it’ll be a challenge to be educational and to normalize the experience without going into every salacious detail – that’s the balance that has to be achieved.”