His changing look has been a much-buzzed-about topic for months, and now PEOPLE has confirmed that Bruce Jenner has been quietly making a very personal change. The former Olympian will soon be living life as female.
"Bruce is transitioning to a woman," says a source close to the family. "He is finally happy and his family is accepting of what he's doing. He's in such a great space. That's why it's the perfect time to do something like this."
And according to a different Jenner insider, the 65-year-old reality star is filming his momentous journey, to be shared with viewers on a docu-series this year. "It will air when he is ready to be open about his transition," the source tells PEOPLE. "But he's acting more and more confident and seems very happy."
Jenner's much-documented physical appearance (he's been photographed with longer hair, manicured nails and wearing makeup) has led to much speculation, but according to the insider, Jenner's decision to transition slowly was made in part so that his family would have time to adapt to the change.
"He's being very smart about and also respectful about his transition," the insider says. "Instead of completely shocking everyone, his changes have been subtle, and his family has had the chance to slowly get used to his new looks and life."
And his family, including children Cassandra, 34, Burt, 36 (with ex wife Chrystie Crownover ) and sons Brandon, 33 and Brody, 31 (with ex wife Linda Thompson), as well as daughters Kendall, 19 and Kylie, 17 (with Kris Jenner) are adjusting to the new Bruce. "The [kids'] concern seems to be Bruce's happiness, and he acts very pleased with his new life," says the insider.
Admits the family source: "It is an intense thing. Of course not everyone is 100 percent on board. Different people have different reactions. But everybody loves him."
When asked about Jenner on ET, his stepdaughter Kim Kardashian simply said, "I think everyone goes through things in life, and I think that story and what Bruce is going through, I think he'll share whenever the time is right." And when reached by PEOPLE, son Burt would only say his father is "doing awesome."
"The family is really giving this space and time to Bruce. This is his story and they want him to tell the world the way he wants," the source close to the family says. "They really want to empower him to tell his story so that hopefully he can help other people too. That's the goal."
Now it appears that Jenner, finally happy in his own skin, will soon be ready to live life out in the open. "He has come out to those closest to him," says the family source. "He's so happy and excited. He gets to lay down a huge bag of bricks. He's been through a dark period and is coming out on the other side."
Numerous requests for comment from Jenner and his representatives were met with no reply.
For more information about transgender issues visit the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, and PFLAG.
With reporting by PERNILLA CEDENHEIM