We defy anyone not to feel emotional watching this powerful and moving speech made by Caitlyn Jenner last night as she collected her Courage Award at the ESPYs in Los Angeles.
Watched on in the audience by Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian alongside the rest of her family, Kendall, Kylie, Brody and Brandon Jenner, Caitlyn delivered a deeply affecting speech as she accepted an Arthur Ashe Courage Award - named after the tennis player and Aids activist who now represents bravery in athletics.
Taking to the stage, Caitlyn joked, 'I’ve never felt more pressured than I ever have in my life, than over the last couple of months. Picking out this outfit — O.K., girls, I get it!' before addressing the serious and 'frightening' realities facing trans people globally.
'They’re getting bullied, they’re getting beaten up, they’re getting murdered and they’re committing suicide. The numbers that you just heard before are staggering, but they are the reality of what it is like to be trans today' Caitlyn began.
Outlining the 'responsibility' Caitlyn feels being in the spotlight, she continued: If there is one thing I do know about my life, it is the power of the spotlight. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but with attention comes responsibility.'
She continued: '...this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine. And that’s the case for so many others besides me. For that reason alone, 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.'
Finally fighting back the tears as she addressed her family - all dressed in black allowing Jenner to shine in white - she warned 'here comes the tough part...'
'I’d like to thank my family. The biggest fear in Caitlyn Jenner coming out was I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids. I always wanted my children to be so proud of their dad because of what he was able to accomplish in his life. You guys have given so much back to me, you’ve given me so much support. I’m so, so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you.'
Jenner concluded: '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. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing. And while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.'
Courage, indeed. You can watch the full video below.