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Soccer Star Abby Wambach and Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPY Awards
Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPY Awards
Caitlyn Jenner at the 2015 ESPY Awards

Caitlyn Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at tonight’s ESPYS in Los Angeles. The sports legend, whose been going through a transgender journey these past few months, was introduced by Abby Wambach of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. In her speech, Jenner took the opportunity to make an emotional plea for “accepting people for who they are.”

As I watched the speech, all I could think was how difficult it must be to not only go through that emotional journey, but to then stand up in front of millions and talk about it. However you feel about it, there’s no doubt that she’s got guts! But what I love most is that I’m sure she will help a lot of people in that same situation, as well as their families and friends.

Jenner, who wore a white, long-sleeve gown for the event, acknowledged her mom (who recently had surgery), her kids and ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in her acceptance speech. She called the past few months a “whirlwind,” noting that she’d never met a transgender person until the past few months. Instead, she dealt with her situation alone and in private.


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“That turned this journey into an already incredible education,” Jenner said, adding, “This transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine … trans people deserve your respect.”

Jenner, a former Olympic superstar, said she knows the “power of the spotlight” and understands “with attention comes responsibility.”

“It’s about all of us accepting one another,” she said.

The most emotional part of her speech involved acknowledging her family and how much they meant to her. Kendall, Kylie and Brody Jenner posed on the red carpet to support their famous dad, and Jenner’s other kids were also at the ceremony: Burt Jenner, Cassandra Marino and Brandon Jenner, as well as daughter-in-law Leah Jenner and step-daughters Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Kardashian, all seen in this photo posted on Twitter by Kourtney:

Brody Jenner told ABC News tonight it was “such a courageous thing for her to come out” and said Caitlyn is “extremely happy.” He noted that they’re celebrating with a big family dinner.

Jenner, 66, formerly known as Bruce, revealed in April that she is transgender. In June, Vanity Fair magazine released the first photo of the former Olympian since her physical transformation, as well as her name.

“Bruce has received many accolades over the years for being one of the greatest Olympians of our time but The ESPYS are honored to celebrate Bruce becoming Caitlyn,” said executive producer Maura Mandt in a statement last month.

“She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.”

Kendell and Kylie Jenner support their dad, Caitlyn Jenner, on the red carpet at the 2015 ESPYS
Kendell and Kylie Jenner support their dad, Caitlyn Jenner, on the red carpet at the 2015 ESPYS
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3 COMMENTS

  1. I respect and admire Caitlyn for her journey and the support she gives to transgender people, especially young people. I hope she continues her tireless and worthy journey with the grace she has displayed so far. But what I can’t get out of my mind is that only a few months ago she was involved in an accident where an elderly widow died. By all accounts it was an accident but it was Jenner’s fault with the lawyer of the stepchildren of the woman killed saying he drove erratically. Jenner sent a condolence message and that is the last we have heard from her on the subject. So basically the message is that the life of an elderly woman who is widowed and childless is not that important so let’s move on. It was only an accident is the message. It’s over. But to me it leaves a bad aftertaste.

    Caitlyn’s celebrity makes her a great spokesperson to shine the light on the incredible contribution and respect the transgender community deserves. In the end though, accident or not, she is also responsible for a woman’s death and I thought the idea was that all women, all people, are worthy of respect and have value. If this woman had had children or someone to fight for her she wouldn’t be so quickly forgotten.

    • I’ve been wondering that same thing – what happened with the accident? Is there a lawsuit? Why haven’t we heard anything more about it? Cynical me wonders if someone was paid off and that’s why we haven’t heard more about it.

  2. My only hope is that Caitlyn will be tough enough to endure the mediatic pressure, because it’s one thing to play some sort of character (Bruce Jenner), which is basically what he did for a major part of his life, and that usually enables you to take some distance from all that entertainment industry. It is another to be herself, and be “naked” with that TV reality show monster. Anyway, best of luck to you, Caitlyn Jenner. You are such an inspiration.

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