On Wednesday night, Caitlyn Jenner gave a powerful and heartfelt speech as she accepted Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs. Although Jenner was alone on stage, she had the loving support of almost all of her 10 kids, both Jenners and Kardashians.
Jenner eased into her speech with a few jokes about how hard it is to be a woman and the time it takes to get ready. She also gave a shoutout to the fashion police, “be kind to me, I’m new at this.”
She continued by mentioning the struggle transgenders face.“All across this country, all across the world, at this very moment, there are young people coming to terms with being transgender,” she said. “They’re getting bullied. They’re getting beaten up. They’re getting murdered. And they’re committing suicide.”
She told the stories of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, a transgender, who was found in a field in Mississippi stabbed to death and of 15-year-old Sam Taub from Bloomfield, Michigan who took his own life. These heartbreaking stories only occurred a couple of days before Caitlyn’s interview with Diane Sayer. “It could have been different if we spotlight these issues with the right attention,” Caitlyn said.
“If there’s one thing I know about my life, it’s about the power of the spotlight,” Jenner stated. “What you say, what you do, is absorbed by millions of young people.”
Caitlyn continued to talk about the power of the spotlight and how she can help make a difference. She mentions the work of everyone in the audience and how they have worked so hard to get to where they are today, but it has paid off and for that people respect them. “I trained hard. I competed hard. And for that people respected me. But this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine. And that’s the case for so many others besides me.”
“For that reason alone trans people deserve something vital — they deserve your respect. From that respect comes a more compassionate community. My plea for you tonight is this,” Jenner concluded, “join me in making this one of your issues as well.”
Caitlyn then gave a heartwarming “thank you” to Diane Sawyer. “You can only tell your story the first time once and Diane you told it so authentically, so gracefully and me and the community are so grateful for that. I am so proud to have you has a friend.”
Jenner thanked her family, her kids, and her mother. As the speech goes on you see the loving support of each and every one of them. Even after the show, you continue to see their support as Kendall and Kylie Tweeted about their tears they shed throughout the speech.
Mine and Kendall’s little tears of joy lol. I love my dad.
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) July 16, 2015
Watch the speech here:
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[Photo: Splash News]