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A Tearful Caitlyn Jenner Continues To Inspire In ESPY Award Speech

July 16, 2015 3 min read

Love her or hate her, she nailed it! Picking Caitlyn Jenner as this year's recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award certainly set off a firestorm of controversy. There have been rumours that there were back room deals with ESPN and ABC, that it was a ratings ploy, that it was simply spectacle. Even during the awards broadcast, viewers took to Twitter to complain saying that Lauren Hill -- a young woman who passed in April -- was more deserving of the award. Lauren played college basketball while fighting an inoperable brain tumor and raising money for cancer research. A truly brave, courageous and honourable thing. Caitlyn Jenner being honoured with this award does not negate Lauren Hill's courage. This isn't a zero sum game. But it's a moot point. It is a moot point because you cannot qualify acts of courage in that manner. Courage is courage. Period. Many of you have weighed in on this subject, registering disgust at Jenner's transition and suggesting this is all a ploy for attention because of her links to an attention hungry family. I think that is an unfair oversimplification. Cailtyn Jenner is courageous, even if you don't think so. Not understanding what it means to be transgender is not an excuse to throw Jenner under the bus. I am not a person who follows the Kardashians or the Jenner girls, celebrity for the sake of celebrity doesn't interest me much. But this does interest me. The Caitlyn Jenner story is one I can stand behind. With the support of her children in the audience, Jenner made an impassioned plea for people to educate themselves. She said, "We start with education. I was fortunate to meet Arthur Ashe a few times and I know how important education was to him. Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better." And isn't that what tolerance is all about? I don't know what it is like to be transgender but I know enough about it that I can respect and treat a trans person just as I would anyone else. The struggles for trans people are real. Very real. And although Caitlyn Jenner -- through fame and fortune -- gets to avoid some of these struggles, she isn't denying they exist. She said:
"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. As a group, as athletes, how you conduct your lives, what you say, what you do, is absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people. I know I'm clear with my responsibility going forward, to tell my story the right way — for me, to keep learning, to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed, how trans people are treated. And then more prominently to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting people's differences."
She acknowledged that all over the world trans people are being bullied and murdered and have a very high rate of suicide. This is a real problem. It is easy to say she's doing it for fame. She's doing it for attention. But that is the easy way out. Caitlyn Jenner showed tremendous courage by using her position of power to show the world there is nothing wrong with being transgender. She will, no doubt, continue to use that position to educate and inform the masses. She will, I can guarantee, serve as a shining example for lonely and confused trans youth. We can all display courage in our lives. Let's start by stepping out of our comfort zones, by educating ourselves, by, at the very least, trying to understand, embrace and respect the humanity in each and every one of us. As Jenner said, "Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect." Stop finding reasons to hate Cailtyn Jenner and just listen to her for a second. She's right. Let's start showing some respect today. Who's with me? Source: Daily Mail Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_98752" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapchat snapcode @BodyRockTV[/caption]  

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