Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday night with tears in her eyes. Her children and stepchildren proudly watched her as she spoke passionately about her transition to a woman, something she called “eye-opening” and “inspiring.”
— (Mr.) Stacy Lambe (@sllambe) July 16, 2015
Jenner looked absolutely stunning in an ivory Versace gown, but it was her speech that was the center of attention. She explained that the toughest part of coming out as a woman was her desire to never hurt anyone. “I only want my kids to be proud of their dad,” Caitlyn told the audience.
Looking out at her children, both the Jenners and Kardashians, she said, “You have given so much back to me, so much support and I’m so grateful to have you all in my life.”
According to the New York Daily News, her children Casey, Burt, Brandon, Brody, Kendall, and Kylie attended the ESPY Awards, along with her Kardashian step-children, Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe. TMZ reports that Jenner asked his ex-wives — Chrystie Crownover, Linda Thompson, and Kris Jenner — not to attend because “they are not her family.”
— E! Online (@eonline) July 16, 2015
Prior to her speech, a short video about her transition was shown to the audience. In the clip, Caitlyn described how she always lived “with secrets” before she transitioned to a woman.
“I always knew I was different. I knew I was female… and that scared me.”
When ESPN first announced that Caitlyn Jenner would receive the 2015 Arthur Ashe Courage Award, there was an outpouring of support for the former Olympic gold medalist turned reality TV star.
However, not everyone agreed with ESPN giving Jenner the award at the ESPYs, and the situation continues to spark hateful comments on Twitter.
Yall might hate me for saying this but sorry Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t deserve the courage award from the Espys
— C e l i n a (@celinadewitt) June 29, 2015
Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t deserve to win this. The espy is for courageous athletes, not for simply courageous people. Sure, maybe 40 years ago
— tsutt (@suttontaylor3) July 16, 2015
Fortunately, Caitlyn was well-received at Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards, with a big round of applause for what Buzz Feed Sports calls “a hell of a speech.”
Next up for Caitlyn? Her much-anticipated reality series, I Am Cait, premieres on E! July 26.