Last night Caitlyn Jenner wowed millions when she made the most incredibly moving speech following her acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
She described the difficulties she went through to get to where she is today, before honing in on the challenges experienced by transgender people, telling the crowd, “If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there who are coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.”
Caitlyn also used her platform to cast a spotlight on the stark dangers faced by many young transgender people today. She said,
“All across this country, right now, all across the world, at this very moment, there are young people coming to terms with being transgender. They’re learning that they’re different and they are trying to figure out how to handle that, on top of every other problem that a teenager has. They are getting bullied, they’re getting beaten up, they’re getting murdered, they’re committing suicide.”
Caitlyn expressed a hope that her story would help change attitudes and inspire a sense of respect towards the transgender community. Her sense of humour also shone through as she asked the notoriously critical fashion police to be kind to her! She said, “it seems like every time I turn around in life, I’m putting myself in these high-pressured situations. Competing in the Games, raising a family. But I’ve never felt more pressured than I ever have in my life, than the last couple of months. Picking out this outfit — O.K., girls, I get it! You got to get the shoes, the hair the makeup, the whole process. It was exhausting. And next, the fashion police — please be kind on me, I’m new at this.”
She also openly addressed the critics who claimed publicity was the reason she received the award.
“So for the people out there wondering what all this is about — whether it’s about courage or controversy or publicity — well, I’ll tell you what it’s all about. It’s about what happens from here. It’s not just about one person. It’s about thousands of people. It’s not just about me. It’s about all of us accepting one another. We are all different. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing and while it may not be easy to get past the things you do not understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”
Probably the most moving part of the speech was when Caitlyn became visibly emotional as she thanked her family for standing by her.
“Here comes the tough part. I’d like to thank my family. The biggest fear in Caitlyn Jenner coming out was I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids. I always wanted my family to be so proud of their dad because of what he has accomplished in his life. You guys have given so much back to me, you’ve given me so much support, I’m so, so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you.”
What an amazing woman!