Caitlyn Jenner (formally Bruce Jenner) is profiled in the July 2015 issues of Vanity Fair by Pulitzer Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger.
The man who wrote the Vanity Fair cover story on Caitlyn Jenner has walked in her shoes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Buzz Bissinger penned the prose to accompany Annie Liebovwitz’s provocative photos of the former Bruce Jenner in the July 2015 issue of the magazine, and Bissinger isn’t a stranger to a life in transition.
Two years ago, Bissinger, who wrote “Friday Night Lights” revealed in an essay in GQ that he had a shopping addiction and spent thousands on clothes – Gucci and leather were his vices – often buying women’s attire.
“Some of the clothing is men’s. Some is women’s. I make no distinction,” Bissinger, who was 58 at the time, wrote. “Men’s fashion is catching up, with high-end retailers such as Gucci and Burberry and Versace finally honoring us. But women’s fashion is still infinitely more interesting and has an unfair monopoly on feeling sexy, and if the clothing you wear makes you feel the way you want to feel, liberated and alive, then f–king wear it. The opposite, to repress yourself as I did for the first fifty-five years of my life, is the worst price of all to pay. The United States is a country that has raged against enlightenment since 1776; puritanism, the guiding lantern, has cast its withering judgment on anything outside the narrow societal mainstream. Think it’s easy to be different in America? Try something as benign as wearing stretch leather leggings or knee-high boots if you are a man.”
Jenner undoubtedly hand-picked every person who was involved in the VF story, and Bissinger’s open mind and own experience coupled with his experience in sports may have paved the way to his getting the sought-after exclusive.
In the GQ piece, Bissinger admitted to experimenting with homosexuality and revealed a fascination with S&M culture.
Much like Caitlyn Jenner, renowned author Buzz Bissinger goes through life transitions of his own.
“Was I a closeted or maybe not so closeted transvestite? Tom Ford makeup is divine; the right foundation and cheek blush and eyeliner and lipstick can do wonders for the pallid complexion,” he wrote. “Thigh-high boots add to any wardrobe, although walking on six-inch stilettos for hours is just a b–ch and therefore confined to the privacy of my house, seen only by the UPS man, who at this point could not possibly be surprised by anything. But a dress or skirt just doesn’t look good on me, and I can’t ever do a thing with my hair. The look I was going for was more David Bowie androgynous. It wasn’t successful.”
Bissinger has since gone to rehab for his addiction and, in January of 2014, told Vanity Fair that while he doesn’t regret the GQ piece, he called it “very flawed.”
“I was doing physical harm to myself and beginning to take pharmaceuticals. I did tremendous damage to my marriage and caused my wife unforgivable pain. I also hurt others,” he said in 2014. “I no longer cared about anything. I had a breakdown on pretty much every front. It had been in the making for years The GQ story really did create an enormous misperception, one that was my fault. But I do not regret it. It was my way of bottoming out and knowing that I needed in-treatment help.”
As for his clothing collection – which he values at over half a million dollars and include 81 leather jackets, 75 pairs of boots, 41 pairs of leather pants and 32 pairs of haute couture jeans,according to his GQ essay – Bissinger says he still has it.
“It’s sitting in a storage locker. I pay $ 244 a month for an enormous storage locker,” he told VF in 2014. “It looks like the mob just stole a truck from Gucci and Ferragamo and Prada. It’s gorgeous. It’s climate controlled. If people are nice to me in the media, I may give them a leather jacket. I’ve got a lot of them. Like 80.”
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