Tonight, Abby Wambach presented Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPY Awards. It’s a moment that has been long-awaited by many and an honor that Caitlyn has called “truly special.” It’s the first time that Caitlyn Jenner has stood in front of her peers since her transformation from Bruce Jenner to a woman. Have a look at part one of the tribute above and Jenner’s actual speech in the below video.
To open things up, Wambach talked about the proudest moments in her career and about Arthur Ashe himself. She then began to talk about some of the problems we deal with in America, specifically Bruce Jenner’s story. Wambach stated that she hopes Jenner’s story helps educate others and open people’s minds.
The show then cut to a video clip of Caitlyn Jenner talking about her transition into womanhood. The video then showed viewers Bruce Jenner’s sports career from the beginning, showing his journey to become an Olympic medal winner. The video talked about Jenner’s successes and then zeroed in on Bruce’s gender confusion. Jenner thought it was funny that the entire world knew him, but no one really knew who he was inside. His sister Pam Mettler and mother Esther Avry said he lacked a confidence in himself. Jenner said the only way he could get through life was through distractions, which is why he felt at ease entertaining fans. The video touched on the struggles Jenner had with his exes and children over the years as well. Jenner actually began transitioning to become a woman in the 1980’s, but stopped because of what it might do to Jenner’s family.
With all 10 of Jenner’s children grown, Jenner escaped and confronted her identity as a woman. Jenner even contemplated suicide when the paparazzi began to hound her about her transformation. It’s then that Jenner decided to turn his transition into a positive and broadcast it to the world in order to help others.
As the video faded to black, Jenner was shown in a white dress, sitting in the audience next to her mother, who gave her a giant kiss. On her way up to the stage Jenner also greeted Diane Sawyer, who conducted Jenner’s history-making interview. Then, all her children were shown in the audience, wearing black and clapping their hands.
Jenner said that she’s never been under as much pressure as she has in recent months and then joked that it was all about figuring out what to wear and dealing with typical woman problems. Jenner then praised the U.S. women’s soccer team for their accomplishments this year. Then, the speech took a serious turn and Jenner talked about the devastating impact of bullying. She then talked about acceptance and respect.
Jenner then took a moment to thank Diane Sawyer and the wonderful interview she put together for Jenner’s coming out as transgender. Following this, Jenner thanked his family and children, tearfully telling them that he never wanted to ever hurt them. And finally, Jenner thanked her mother.
And then Jenner talked about all the jokes being made about her, she said that’s fine because she can take it. But, she urged people to leave children alone who are dealing with being transgender. Lastly, Jenner thanked everyone in general for the immense honor of receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Throughout Jenner’s speech, the camera would cut to her children, whose eyes were filled with tears.
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