Bruce Jenner will do motivational speaking: ‘It was very lucrative for him in the past’

'Bruce Jenner: The Interview' with Diane Sawyer on ABC
As mentioned yesterday, I attended a lecture on Wednesday night by an inspirational, highly decorated former Navy SEAL and transgender activist named Kristin Beck. (You can watch her documentary, Lady Valor, on Netflix. Please do not buy her book, Warrior Princess, as she is currently suing the publisher to collect royalties owed to her.) Kristin said so many quotable things that it was hard to do justice to her talk. She did say that she’s not doing this for fame or money, that she’s fighting for equality and is trying to “save some kids.” When asked what she would say about Bruce Jenner that she didn’t say in an appearance on CNN discussing his 20/20 special, she said that she wished he would “stop recording… come out and be a hero.” Kristin said that it seemed like Bruce is parceling out his transition for money, essentially, instead of coming out all at once. (Before people criticize her for saying this, she thought she was speaking to a room, not the press, but did agree to make these comments public when I asked.)

So it’s not surprising to me to hear that Bruce is going to return to motivational speaking now that he’s announced that he’s transgender. He’s not going to be doing it for free, either.

Bruce Jenner is taking his story on the road. After coming out as transgender in a much-lauded interview with Diane Sawyer on April 24, the former Olympian is now preparing for an E! series documenting his transition and, as a source revealed in the May 4 issue of Us Weekly, a revival of his motivational speaking career.

“It was very lucrative for him in the past,” an insider told Us of Jenner, 65, who earned around $5,000 per event in the late 1970s, “and now he has a whole new audience.”

Indeed, life coach Seth Rainess suggested to Us that “Bruce will be in greater demand than anybody. He could make tens of thousands per engagement.”

The money isn’t the main draw, though. As Jenner said during his interview with Sawyer, “What I’m doing is going to do some good. And we’re going to change the world. I really firmly believe that. We’re going to make a difference in the world with what we’re doing.”

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, doesn’t disagree. “All of us who have struggled with coming out know what a monumental thing it is to have Bruce Jenner come out as trans,” Keisling told Us Weekly. “He has been trying to outrun this for around 60 years — that’s a lot of outrunning, even for a decathlon champ. It takes a lot of courage.”

That courage could give others courage, too. “This year, trans people have been traumatized by a spike in murders and suicides,” Keisling said. “And when a celebrity family like Bruce’s is supportive, that can really help all trans people. It can have a huge impact.”

With that comes huge responsibility, of course — but Jenner, dad to 10 kids and stepkids, is more than up to the challenge. “He is going to be a role model for the transgender community,” the source told Us of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians patriarch. “He knows he has an important job to do.”

[From US Magazine]

Let me make this clear – I don’t think by any stretch that Bruce came out for monetary reasons. This is who he is, and it takes so much courage to make this announcement as a public figure. However, Kristin’s criticism rings true. Bruce is doing a reality show, he’s timing his transition, he’s holding back information and is lining up a career for himself. This makes sense, and is very similar to how he parlayed his athletic triumph into multiple brand endorsements at a time when that was rare. People wouldn’t expect him to travel around and make speeches for free. He’s a planner and will hustle for cash, just like his ex wife, Kris. I do think he will save lives and I believe this is a positive thing overall.

While I haven’t been able to confirm this with her, Kristin Beck’s speaking fee is listed on Speakerpedia as $0. (She may receive a fee however, which would only be fair.) People like Jane Fonda earn around 6 figures a speech so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that Jenner will command similar fees.

'Bruce Jenner: The Interview' with Diane Sawyer on ABC

'Bruce Jenner: The Interview' with Diane Sawyer on ABC

'Bruce Jenner: The Interview' with Diane Sawyer on ABC

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33 Responses to “Bruce Jenner will do motivational speaking: ‘It was very lucrative for him in the past’”

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  1. L&Mmommy says:

    He’s a Kardashian so I don’t expect anything else from him. Everything begins and ends with money and fame for them. But I also think many people in need will benefit from his message which is never a bad thing.

    • Julie says:

      Bruce Jenner is not a Kardashian. He earned his fame an honest and awesome way 40 years ago.

      • L&Mmommy says:

        @ Julie. Saying “he’s a Kardashian” means he lives his life the Kardashian way which is money and fame at all cost. And yes I am familiar with how Bruce initially became famous but let’s not pretend he was still on people’s radar before the Kardashian show put him back in the spotlight. Like it or not he’s been kardashianed and he acts like it too.

      • Christin says:

        He was heavily into marketing then and now. He is a lot like Kris, I think. He just covers it better.

  2. Allie May says:

    Well, I say good for him. He has a positive message, and realistically, he must support himself somehow. Transgender people have got to have a hard road ahead of them. I feel for them, and Bruce coming out and speaking out will hopefully make a positive difference.

  3. Mrs. Wellen-Mellon says:

    Just do not take fashion or makeup advice from a Kardashian, Bruce.

    Maybe Bruce uses his money to set up a foundation to help transgendered youth, maybe he doesn’t. Let’s hope he does.

  4. Sea Dragon says:

    Whatever his motivation may be, it makes me so happy that he had the courage to reveal himself to the world. I loathe everything about this family, I even hate that “Kardashian” pops up on my phone’s predictive text, but that a greater sense of compassion and acceptance of the trans individual’s struggle may arise, makes my heart swell.
    I hope that made sense. I’m running on two hours of sleep and I’m drifting in and out as I write.

  5. roxy750 says:

    I completely expected this and have commented this would happen in the past. Don’t let any of this fool you. yes, I am sure he is sincere–but really, he will the head of the household (was) and part of the clan.

  6. FingerBinger says:

    I’m curious if Kris is still his manager.

    • Gigi says:

      I am too. Part of me hopes she isn’t and he’s getting some serious joy satisfaction that Kris won’t get a cent of it.

      But in all seriousness we learned that last time he started to transition he ended up in serious debt. Not sure if that was due to the transition expenses, not working as much ??? But enter Kris she convinced him to stop transitioning and got him back on the speaker circuit.

      He’s probably committed to staying afloat this time. Also, all that time watching that family hustle probably had some impact on his ideas about making money.

  7. EC says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Kristen Beck. I had no idea who she was (wasn’t paying attention, I guess) but am awed by her transition and how she lives now. Incredible.

    I can’t fault Bruce for becoming a speaker – it’s his wheelhouse, seems like a natural move. He’ll bring in the big bucks, but his platform is huge. I hope he is able to get his message out to people (young and old) who need to hear it.

  8. Burgher says:

    I doubt Bruce Jenner’s transition at 65 as a famous former Olympian living in Malibu with loads of cash would be relatable to the average struggles faced by those who are transgendered. I guess the community will determine for itself whether he is inspiring and whether they are interested in his attempts to motivate…

  9. Tracy says:

    Or maybe we could all just get off his back and let him manage his life –and any do-gooding he may or may not choose to do– any damn way he wants. We all know that he felt suppressed for the first 65 years of his life, do you really want to be all Judgey McJudgerson about the next chapter. His critics should just sit down and hush.

    • Imo says:

      Get off his back? Since when has a KarJenner fled from the ‘relentless’ public spotlight? Pffft.

      • Sarah says:

        True enough. I support his efforts to be true to himself but doing this in a prime time interview with Diane Sawyer (and not for free, I bet) was his choice.

    • monayandmonet89 says:


  10. Liz says:

    I just can’t applaud his “coming out” while trying to milk every last dime. When he accidently caused the death of that poor woman in CA, his PR machine said Jenner planned to cancel/delay his TV. I knew as people forgot about his careless driving causing someone’s death, he’d came back in full force. He did. Jenner is every bit the opportunist.
    Also, he pretty much abandoned the children he had with the two ex-wives. As a grown man he had the power to ensure he remained a part of their lives. He involved so many people in his indecision to come out. I see him as a selfish narcissist. It’s all about him. There is a reason why he married his third wife. They’re cut from the same cloth.

    • joy says:

      He was so self involved he couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone and call his kids after an earthquake. So honestly for me, I don’t choose to throw words like hero around when describing him.

    • louise says:

      We don’t know what’s happening with the accident case, only what TMZ and Radar tell. From what his entire family, ex-wives and all his children, it looks like everyone has forgiven. Lots of fathers are worse with no reason.

      • lisa says:

        so because he isnt the absolute worst father ever, it’s ok that he was a deadbeat drop out absentee parent for years? that makes no sense

    • vauvert says:

      Agree 100%. He was and is a terrible parent, the fact that the older kids show him forgiveness and compassion (raised right by their moms!) does not diminish how rotten his behaviour was. And looking at how the Jenner girls are turning out, almost illiterate and only interested in showing their bits on Instagram, he may have been physically present but a father? Nope. As bad as Kris.
      And sure, I understand he needs to make a living , assuming all the money already made from ten years of reality tv is not enough…. But he could do a book and live off the proceeds, and he could donate a big portion of his new reality tv income… Lots of ways he could act in a less “me, me, me, myself and I” way. But he and Kris are essentially the same. All they care about is making more money. Keeping their name in the media. Nothing else matters. As someone else mentioned in this thread, there is very little in common between what a famous white rich male in his sixties will face while coming out as transgender versus what a normal teenager will experience, who is not shielded by money, tv interviews, magazine blurbs, a supportive family and so on.

  11. melissa says:

    After all these years of Bruce being a motivational speaker, it’s really great that he can add something that he help other transgenders feel support and maybe become more brave and proud

  12. Imo says:

    As long as there’s no clothing or makeup line. Kanye would put his spin on it and, well, you know.

  13. monayandmonet89 says:

    I think this is between a rock and a hard place. I always get this vibe that if celebrities monetize anything in their personal life, people get really worked up over it. I watched the Bruce interview and when Sawyer says something about KUWTK, Bruce cuts her off and says, “but we’re going to do some good here” and I really teared up–because he’s right. it’s the one thing he can do to “normalize” transitioning.

    Also, I have no issues if he makes money in the process. I think if someone we love (Cumberbatch or Hiddleston) came out as trans and wanted to do a documentary about it that spanned a year and give a series of talking tours (while being handsomely compensated) people wouldn’t give it the side eye. I think he gets major flack for being associated to the Kardashians but monetizing on an opportunity to bring attention to a great cause and his personal journey is not deplorable. I don’t criticize it–it’s capitalism, IMO. The networks (whoever hosts this show) would’ve monetized off it and if it’s giving an incredible platform and keeping the issue in the spotlight for a few months after his talk, that’s great. I’d like this issue to remain in the public consciousness for a while to come.

    I also think that if Laverne Cox did something similar to Bruce–talking engagements, a reality show about encouraging/helping people come out as trans, or helping people transition to being trans–I don’t think people would hate on her for it and making money doing it. So why hate on Bruce for doing the same thing?

  14. Longhairdontcare says:

    Theres a teenage girl ive been following. Her name is Jazz and shes about 14/15. Shes got an amazing family and has been featured on specials and has quite a following in the trans community. Her family just locked down a reality series on TLC. I think this is positive for their community just like Bruce speaking out. TLC though cracks me up. Hopefully its right after 19 kids lolol

    • Jayna says:

      I’ve followed her also and have posted links here before. She also does little YouTube chats to talk to teens who have questions or problems. On any of her YouTube videos, even the documentaries, with OWN or Barbara Walters, are foul, I mean just foul remarks, one after the other. It’s sad anyone out publicly as a transgender, the trolling they get that is enough to send you into a deep depression. She’s lucky. Her parents nipped puberty in the bud having her on blockers. One day she will go on hormones. At 18, she will have sex reassignment surgery. They live far happier lives than those that have hidden it most of their lives.

      I can see why any transgender fears for their safety, the vitirol thrown at them is horrible. Even that Kristen Beck said she was jumped and beaten up by four men as she was walking down a sidewalk..

  15. Jayna says:

    Bruce, please don’t let Kim and Kanye into your new glam closet. Kanye will throw it all out and will have a new wardrobe couriered in by his assistants within days. I shudder to think of what he will have you in. BEWARE.

  16. Kate says:

    Well, he has to make a living.

  17. Guesto says:

    I’m sorry to say I can’t find a single thing to like or appreciate or respect about this man. And am really put off by the appreciation of him on here.

    It’s nothing to do with him being transgender. He’s just so horribly and cynically self-centred and not remotely interested in the bigger transgender picture.

    I actually find him really creepy.

  18. Sh'larhonda says:

    I’m so happy to see such an accepting group of people. I myself am transracial. I can’t tell you the struggles I’ve endured stepping out in blackface everyday. I was born white but never felt comfortable until started making myself black. I walk around my hood in coochie cutters with my micro braids giving me a massive headache, but it’s all worth it because I finally feel right! However, I am attacked on almost a daily basis by bigoted people of all races. It’s non stop! I’ve been at the brink of suicide many times. The pain is something I wish on no one. Bruce Jenner is a champion for all transpeople…. trans-sexual, trans-racial, trans-age, etc. He is truly someone to be admired by all! I’ve never spoken about it before but all of you seem so supportive.