watch caitlyn jenner’s inspirational espys speech

"Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect."

by i-D Staff and Alice Newell-Hanson
Jul 16 2015, 2:55pm

Last night, Caitlyn Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards in LA. Her acceptance speech is a ten-minute-long tour de force that touches on the realities of being trans today, the power of sport, and the need to foster understanding and respect.

Starting on a lighter note, Caitlyn first discussed her outfit choice (she wore a white Atelier Versace gown and it was fire), and the pressures of the fashion police ("Ok girls, I get it … the whole process was exhausting!"). It was the calm before the tear storm.

Caitlyn went on to speak about her own journey - "it's been an education, it's been eye-opening, inspiring, but also frightening" - before turning her attention to the wider trans community. She alluded to those less fortunate than her and specifically to young people struggling to come to terms with being transgender: "They're getting bullied, they're getting beaten up, they're getting murdered and they're committing suicide."

The Olympian credited sports, and the recognition she gained as a competitor, for giving her strength during her transition. "If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is, I can take it," she said. "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."

She ended her speech by emphasizing the need for acceptance. "This is about what happens from here. It's not just about one person, it's about thousands of people […] We're all different and that's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. And it may not be easy to get past the things you don't understand but I want to prove that it is absolutely possible, if we only do it together." Preach, Caitlyn, preach.

Related: Check Out Caitlyn Jenner's First Column on LGBT Issues


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Image via Youtube

Caitlyn Jenner