Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Speech

Caitlyn Jenner ESPYS

She Speaks!

Tonight, Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards. As we exclusively revealed, she did not walk the red carpet; however, she gave a great speech that brought us to tears. What did she have to say?

Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Speech

Jenner began talking, saying, “Thank you so much. It is so wonderful to be here tonight. now the lsat few months have been a whirlwind of so many different experiences and emotions. but to tell you the truth, it seems like every time i turn around in life i am putting myself in these high pressure situations: competing in the games, raising a family- but I’ve never felt more pressure than I ever have felt in my life than over the last couple of months. Picking out this outfit- okay girls, I get it. You gotta 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, but anyway- and I just want to take a quick shout out to our soccer team. They have absolutely- ladies, you clean up very well.”

“Well the real truth that is just before a few months ago, I had never met anyone else who was trans- who was like me- I had never met a trans person, never,” Jenner continued. “As you saw, I dealt with my situation on my own, in private, and that turned this journey into an already incredible education. It’s been eye opening. Inspiring. But also frightening. 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’re trying to figure out how to handle that, on top of every other problem that a teenager has. They’re getting bullied. They’re getting beaten up. They’re getting murdered. And they’re committing suicide. The numbers that you heard before are staggering but they are a reality of what it’s like to be trans today. Just last month, the body of 17 year-old Mercedes Williamson, a transgender young woman of color was found in a field in Mississippi stabbed to death. I also want to tell you about Sam Taub, a 15 year old transgender young man from Bloomfield, Michigan. In April, Sam took his own life. Now Sam’s story haunts me in particular because his death came just a few days before ABC aired my interview with Diane Sawyer. Every time something like this happens, people wonder- could it have been different if spotlighting this issue with more attention could have changed the way things happen. We’ll never know. IF there’s one thing I do know about my life, it is the power of the spotlight. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming. But, with attention, comes responsibility. As a group. As athletes. How you conduct your lives. What you say. What you do is absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people. I know I’m clear with my responsibility going forward to tell my story the right way for me. To keep learning. To do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed. How trans people are treated. And then more broadly to promote a very simple idea- accepting people for who they are. Accepting people’s differences.”

Jenner then stated that, “My plea to you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well. How do we start? We start with education. I was fortunate enough to meat Arthur Ashe a few times and I know how important education was to him. Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better. I know the people in this room have respect for hard work. For training. For going through something difficult to achieve the outcome that you desire. 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.

“And from that- and from that respects comes a more compassionate community,” she added. “A more empathetic society. And a better world for all of us. There have been so many who have traveled this road before me, from a sports Ray Richards to Chaz Bono to Laverne Cox and many others. Janet Mock whose here tonight and I want to thank them all publicly, as well last the late Arthur Ashe and the ESPY’s for giving me this platform to start this next phase of my journey. I also want to acknowledge all the young trans athletes who are out there, given the chance to play sports as who they really are. And now- and now, as of this week it appears that trans people will soon be serving in the military. That’s a great idea. We have come a long way, but we have a lot of work to do. I’d like to thank, personally, my buddy Diane Sawyer. You know, you can only tell your story the first time once and Diane you did it so authentically and so gracefully and me and the community is so thankful for that and I thank you so much Diane. I’m so proud to have you as a friend.”

Jenner then addressed her family, saying, “Here comes the tough part- I’d like to thank my family. Now, the biggest fear I always had in coming out is I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids. I always wanted my children to be so proud of their Dad for what he was able to accomplish in their life. You guys have given so much back to me, you have given me so much support- I am so, so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you. And certainly last but not least- my mother. My Mom, who just a little over a week ago had to have surgery- and I didn’t think she was going to make it. And, but- she is with me tonight to share this night. You know, I always thought that I got my courage and my determination from my Dad, who landed on Omaha Beach, fought all the way through World War II- but I’m realizing now, Mom, I think I got all those qualities from you. I love you very much. I’m so glad you’re here to share this with me.”

“You know it is an honor to have the word courage associated with my life,” Jenner continued. “But on this night, another word comes to mind, and that is fortunate. I owe a lot to sports. It’s showed me the world. It’s given me an identity. If someone wanted to bully me, well, you know what, I was the MVP of the football team that just wasn’t going to be a problem. The same thing goes tonight. If you wanna 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 coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it. So for the people out there wondering what this is all 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.”

Jenner wrapped with saying, “We’re 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 always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together. Thank you so much for this platform. Thank you so much for this honor bestowed on myself and my family. Thank you.”

It should be noted that Jenner had the full support tonight of both sides of her family who attended.

More Caitlyn Jenner Stories: 

Caitlyn Jenner Blog Says The Future Looks Bright

Cailtyn Jenner Gay Pride Dines With Trans Women

Caitlyn Jenner Fathers Day Celebration With Children