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Caitlyn Jenner ESPYS

Accepts ESPYS’ Arthur Ashe Courage Award

15 Jul, 2015

Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS, in talks about support for transgendered youth:

Real truth is before few months ago, I’ve never met anyone else who was trans. Never. As you saw, I dealt with my situation on my own, in private. But all across the world, there are young people coming to terms with being transgender. They’re trying to figure out how to handle that. They’re getting bullied. They’re getting murdered. And they’re committing suicide. This is the reality of what it’s like being trans today…My plea for you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well. How do we start? Start with education. Learn as much as you can about another person. I know the people in this room have respect for hard work. I trained hard. I competed hard. And for that, people respected me. But this transition has been harder for me than anything I could have imagined. Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect.

It is an honor to have the word courage associated with my life. Another word I have is fortunate. I owe a lot to sports. It has given me an identity. If someone wanted to bully me [back then], it didn’t matter because I was the MVP. Same thing goes tonight. If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it. So for the people wondering what this is all about — courage, controversy, publicity, it’s about what happens from here… its not just about one person. It’s about thousands. Not just me, all of us. Accepting one another. We’re all different and that’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. While it may not be easy to get past, it is possible if we do it together. Thank you so much for this honor, bestowed on myself and my family.