Caitlyn Jenner ESPYs Speech Calls for Compassion, Understanding, and Acceptance (Video)

caitlyn jenner espys speech

Caitlyn Jenner was presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYs in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, and her 10-minute acceptance speech was pretty damn good.

It started with a joke, of course. Jenner loosened up the room a bit with a wisecrack about how hard it was to pick out her dress. Then she begged the “fashion police” to take it easy on her because she’s “new at this.”

After that, though, Jenner got down to business, making a compelling case for compassion and kindness and understanding for young people who are struggling mightily to come to terms with who they are.

Her appeal was tailored specifically for the famous athletes and celebrities sitting in the audience:

“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, it absorbed and observed by millions of people. Especially young people. I know I’m clear with my responsibility of 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 issue are viewed, of how trans people are treated. And then, more broadly, to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are.”

Later on, after thanking her family for their love and support—especially her mom, who was in the audience and beaming with pride—Jenner addressed some of the criticism she’s received since revealing her transition back in April.

“If you want to call me names, make jokes and doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is I can take it,” Jenner said. “But for thousands of kids out there coming to terms with the reality of who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.”

If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, the entire speech is definitely worth a watch.

Hat Tip – [ESPN]

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