This summer CBS made history when Big Brother 17 cast Audrey Middleton as the first transgender houseguest. And, it's been a crazy ride for her ever since. On night one Audrey revealed her gender identity to the houseguests and they were overwhelmingly supportive of her, which was amazing to see. From there, though she was evicted pretty early on, Audrey has only continued to help inspire people both in and out of the transgender community. On the Big Brother 17 finale Audrey made an inspiring speech about her time in the house, and how it's affected her. Through tears, she managed to sum everything up in a really sweet way. The transcript of Audrey's speech will give you all the feels, so be prepared.
When asked about her status as the first transgender houseguest and how things have changed for her post BB, Audrey told Julie Chen and the audience exactly how she was feeling, and it was super heart-warming.
I am having the time of my life. This is an emotional thing; it's huge. I've had an overwhelming warm response from the whole country, and people have written to me telling me how I've inspired them and how they came out to their families. I didn't win Big Brother, but I feel like a freaking winner because I changed lives. And... I can't even articulate anything else; I'm just so overwhelmed.
Rock on, Audrey. You're a total winner in my book, and I'm glad America has been responding the same way.
For more on this season of Big Brother, check out Bustle's podcast The Diary Room.
Images: Sonja Flemming/CBS; sunrisealliance/Tumblr