What Caitlyn Jenner And Linda Thompson's Relationship Is Like Now

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Caitlyn Jenner married three different women while learning to cope with her gender dysphoria. Though she publicly formalized her transition in 2015 with the immediately iconic Vanity Fair cover captioned "Call me Caitlyn," Caitlyn had been trying to take the initial steps in her journey since the mid-1980s, a decade after becoming world famous for winning a gold medal at the 1976 summer Olympic Games. At the time, Caitlyn was married to Linda Thompson, a beauty pageant winner who went on to find success as a songwriter, with whom she had two sons, Brandon and Brody

After being with her for about six years, Caitlyn told Thompson about her gender identity, which Thompson revealed to Fox News in 2016. Caitlyn proceeded to undergo hormone therapy and facial hair removal, per Vanity Fair. Thompson filed for divorce in 1986, but she respected her ex's privacy and never disclosed Caitlyn's attempts to transition. "[We have] a great relationship but not a marriage," she told People in 1986. During that process, however, Caitlyn felt the weight of publicly coming out as transgender. Jenner stopped taking hormones and returned to wearing clothes normally associated with men. In 1991, she married Kris Jenner

Thompson continued to keep her peace about Caitlyn's gender identity until she came out on her own terms. Caitlyn and Thompson's relationship has had ups and downs in the 20 years following their divorce, but how do they get along today?

Caitlyn Jenner and Linda Thompson have found middle ground

Linda Thompson initially struggled to understand Caitlyn Jenner's gender dysphoria, a consequence of the taboo and discrimination of the time. "This was around 31 years ago, so what did that mean? We had no idea really what 'transgender' meant," Thompson told Fox News in 2016. Thompson and Caitlyn even went to therapy to try to "fix" the problem. "But after six months in therapy, I had to come to the sad realization that this was absolutely who my husband was," she said.

But Thompson and Caitlyn have since found middle ground. Thompson has even come to realize that Caitlyn is a better parent since she came to terms with her gender identity. "Caitlyn has been here for Brody and Brandon. I see a lot more of Caitlyn than I did of Bruce. Bruce and I were estranged for many years, and he actually didn't see the kids while they were growing up very much. I think Caitlyn is a better parent than Bruce was," Thompson said.

The parents continued to be there for their kids and are even able to joke with each other. In April 2018, Thompson posted a Boomerang to her Instagram showing her, Caitlyn, and Brody Jenner's then-fiancée Kaitlynn Carter goofing around. "Well. Okay. Here's something I never could have imagined. My coveting the beautiful blue Alice and Olivia pants suit worn by the father of my children at our future daughter-in-law's bridal shower," Thompson captioned the post.

What is Caitlyn Jenner's relationship with Brandon and Brody like?

A year after Caitlyn Jenner came out as transgender, Linda Thompson released "A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner, and Songs in Between," a memoir in which she opened up about her relationship with Caitlyn, among other aspects of her life. "I felt such an obligation to keep Bruce's gender dysphoria his secret that I did not even tell my sons until they were 31 and 29 years old, respectively. I wanted them to experience enough life and garner enough knowledge, confidence and compassion to be able to deal with their father's true self," Thompson wrote (via People).

Brandon and Brody Jenner have said they aren't exactly close with Caitlyn, which reportedly stems from the years she was married to Kris Jenner. "I didn't see my father more than half a dozen times between the ages 8 and 25. Sadly the infrequent exchanges felt more like staged photo opportunities than real bonding," Brandon wrote in "To Me, He Was Just Dad" in 2020 (via Page Six). 

Caitlyn has acknowledged that she struggled to be there for her kids when they were young. "The big formative years for them, I was really struggling with these issues. I talked to all the boys about this after the fact, that, yeah, I didn't do a good job. And I apologized to my kids for that," Caitlyn said on "20/20" in April 2015, three months before she announced her new name.