"Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better”
Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Award For Courage at the ESPY Awards last night and she made an epic speech that brought the audience to tears.
Highlighting the hardships and challenges that transgender people face on a daily basis, she paid tribute to transgender teenagers 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, who was found stabbed to death in Mississippi and 15-year-old Sam Taub, from Michigan, who committed suicide.
She also thanked her family with daughters Kendall and Kylie Jenner as well as step-daughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian sat in the audience; all four of them, much like the rest of the audience, looked utterly moved by Caitlyn’s words which culminated in a much-deserved standing ovation.
Read on for some of the most inspirational moments from Caitlyn’s speech:
1. “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 are different and they are trying to figure out how to handle that, on top of every other problem that a teenager has.”
2. “[I want to] promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting people’s differences.”
3. “Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better.”
4. “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.”
5. “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.”
6. “I always thought that I got my courage and my determination from my dad, who landed on Omaha Beach and fought all the way through World War II. But you know what I’m realizing now, Mum, I think I got all those qualities from you.”
7. “If you want to 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.”
8. “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. We are all different.”
The Arthur Ashe Award is named after the late US tennis player-turned-AIDS activist and honours bravery in athletics.
Watch Caitlyn’s speech in full, below:
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