Bruce Jenner attends the 13th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational gala at the ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter on April 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.
Ethan Miller—Getty Images
By Daniel D'Addario
Updated: April 24, 2015 10:53 PM ET | Originally published: April 25, 2015

Olympic gold medalist and TV personality Bruce Jenner confirmed in a new interview late Friday that he is undergoing a long-rumored gender transition, saying it would be his last time known as “Bruce.”

“For all intents and purposes, I am a woman,” Jenner said in the interview that aired Friday night on ABC. “My heart and my soul and all I do in life, that is part of me.”

“Sexuality is who you personally are attracted to—who turns you on— male or female,” Jenner said. “But gender identity has to do with who you are as a person and your soul, and who you identify with inside.”

Describing to ABC’s Diane Sawyer the process of God assigning traits, Jenner described his best-known attributes and then said: “Let’s give him the soul of a female and let’s see how he deals with that.”

MORE: Here’s How Vanity Fair Kept the Caitlyn Jenner Cover From Getting Scooped

Sawyer, in the long-anticipated interview, said that Jenner began hormone treatment in the 1980s, but stopped due to his own religious beliefs and his fear of embarrassing his children.

Jenner didn’t disavow his past role as an Olympian and, for a time, the paragon of machismo as far as the public was concerned. When Sawyer gave Jenner his (and Jenner noted he prefers masculine pronouns for the time being) Wheaties box, Jenner said: “I am proud of that moment.” But as far as the wildly popular persona was concerned, Jenner said: “Being Bruce isn’t easy.”

Asked whether his story is a publicity stunt, Jenner replied: “What I’m doing is going to do some good and we’re going to change the world.”

“I had this feeling—kind of a revelation—that maybe this is my cause in life,” Jenner said. “This is why God put me on this earth, is to deal with this issue. And that was a very powerful moment. It certainly gave me an awful lot of courage.”

“If this is the only problem I have in life,” Jenner said, “I’ve got it made.”

Read next: How Transgender People Choose Their New Names

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