Posing in a white custom corset and lingerie, former Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner has made her first public appearance as a woman named Caitlyn, with an Annie Leibovitz cover photo for the July issue of Vanity Fair.

"If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it," Jenner, 65, told the magazine, "I would be lying there saying, 'You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,' and I don't want that to happen."

Jenner also wrote, on a newly established Twitter page, "I'm so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world Caitlyn. Can't wait for you to get to know her/me."

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The magazine Monday said "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger "was given unfettered access to Jenner and her family" for the story of Jenner's transition from male to female. The article notes Jenner had a 10-hour facial-feminization operation March 15 and has received breast implants but underwent no genital surgery.

Jenner attempted to pre-empt criticism that the gender transition is a publicity stunt for her upcoming, yet-to-be-titled, eight-part E! series that will follow her life as a transgender woman.

She told Vanity Fair: "I'm not doing it for money. I'm doing it to help my soul and help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid. [I have] house payments and all that kind of stuff. I will never make an excuse for something like that. Yeah, this is a business."

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However, "You don't go out and change your gender for a television show. OK, it ain't happening. I don't care who you are."

She added that her four children from her first two marriages have refused to participate in the series. Saying she was initially "terribly disappointed and terribly hurt," Jenner eventually accepted their decision.

A screen capture of a tweet from Caitlyn Jenner's verified Twitter account, Monday, June 1, 2015. The transgender woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner has come out as woman on the cover of Vanity Fair. Photo Credit: Caitlyn Jenner via Twitter

Meanwhile, ESPN announced Monday that Jenner will be presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYS on July 15. Past recipients of the award, presented annually to individuals whose contributions transcend sports, include Muhammad Ali (1997), Billie Jean King (1999), Nelson Mandela (2009) and newscaster Robin Roberts (2013).