Caitlyn Jenner delivered a powerful acceptance speech for the ESPYs Arthur Ashe Courage Award, making an impassioned plea for acceptance of transgender persons. You can see the full speech along with a roundup of Twitter reactions from celebrities and public figures.
— Nightline (@Nightline) July 16, 2015
Photo: Caitlyn Jenner
It was an historic moment, and Caitlyn Jenner rose to the occasion. Starting off with humor as she stood before the audience in a custom whitetelier Versace gown she quipped about fashion. The former Bruce Jenner, Olympic gold medalist and icon of the 1970s, who has now publicly embraced and revealed her true self spoke persuasively.
She quickly took on the weightier topic of the night, that being the purpose of her standing before the audience in the arena and by extension the entire world, creating a defining moment.
Perhaps the most quoted passages of her speech are when she gave voice to the struggling children and teens. She said of them, “They’re learning that they’re different and they’re 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.”
Later, in the speech, acknowledging her critics, she underscored what’s truly at stake as she said, “If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead. 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.”
She went on to say, “I’ll tell you what this is all about. It’s about what happens from here. 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’re all different. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing.”
It was an inspiring speech, ten minutes in total, and, it when it came time to thank her family for their supportiveness, she shed tears, as she singled out her mother, present in the audience, as the source of her courage. And that too was a defining moment, reminding us of her long journey from 1976 gold medalist to the Caitlyn Jenner that is her true self, and the long journey it was.
The full video of her speech is below.
Now that she stood bravely and spoke her truth, the world has been reacting. As is always the case, many celebrities and public figures have taken to Twitter. Here’s a roundup of what they have to say of Caitlyn Jenner’s acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 16, 2015
— IG: @UncleRUSH (@UncleRUSH) July 16, 2015
I understand people have opinions and beliefs but what Caitlyn Jenner did takes courage and heart…kudos #ESPYS
— Ryan Verdugo (@teachmetodugi11) July 16, 2015
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) July 16, 2015
— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) July 16, 2015
— Lee Radziwill (@LeeRadziwill) July 16, 2015
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) July 16, 2015
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (@jessetyler) July 16, 2015
— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) July 16, 2015
I ❤️you @Caitlyn_Jenner
— Lily Aldridge (@LilyAldridge) July 16, 2015
@Caitlyn_Jenner A thought provoking, beautiful, moving, honest acceptance speech! The look was everything too! Congratulations!!!!
— Andreja Pejic (@andrejapejic) July 16, 2015