Transcript Of Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Award Speech Shows Her Commitment To The Trans Community & Strength In Adversity — VIDEO
I can't be the only viewer who tuned into the 2015 ESPYs primarily for one reason: to see Caitlyn Jenner receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. While the rest of the show was enjoyable, the night totally turned around when her honor began, with Abby Wambach giving an excellent introduction that lead into a touching video tribute. After the video played and likely moved everyone watching to tears, the honoree finally took the stage and Jenner's ESPYs speech was nothing short of extraordinary. "Wow I have to talk after that?" she asked, starting things off on a light note, before beginning a speech that discussed everything from her own struggles, to transgender rights, to her family, and more.
"Thank you so much, it is so wonderful to be here tonight. Now, the last 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'm 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 in my life than the last couple of months....picking out this outfit. OK 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 to me, I'm new at this. Anyway..." she said, again showing off her signature goofy humor that fans are more than familiar with. From there, the speech continued, delving into more serious issues.
Well, the real truth is that just before a few months ago, I had never met anybody else who was trans, who was like me. I'd never met a trans person, ever. As you just 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 are 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're getting bullied, they're getting beaten up, they're getting murdered, and they're committing suicide.
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Jenner then went on to talk about the recent deaths of transgender teens, and how she'd wondered if bringing her issue to the public sooner could have changed the outcomes for those people.
It's the power of the spotlight...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 what my mission is. To tell my story the right way, for me. To keep learning. To do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans people are viewed, how trans people are treated, and more broadly, to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting people's differences. My plea to you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well.
Trans people deserve something vital — they deserve your respect. And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us.
You can watch the whole speech in the video below.
This speech just shows that the Arthur Ashe Award is the perfect tribute to Jenner, because it demonstrated her immense courage. In the 1976 Olympics, Jenner, who was then known as Bruce, won the gold medal in the decathlon, one of the most rigorous events, showing her perseverance, dedication, and strength. Today, Jenner continues to demonstrate those qualities as an advocate for the LGBT community, who began using her fame to help support the community the moment she publicly came out as transgender. Her speech at the ESPYs just proves how dedicated she is to helping other transgender people, and how she plans to use her fame to bring attention and support to this important cause.