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another person to understand them better.
I know the people in this room have
respect for hard work, for training, for going
through something difficult to achieve the
outcome that you desire. I trained hard.
I competed hard. And for that, people
But 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.
There have been so who have traveled
this road before me. From, in sports, Renée
Richards, to Chaz Bono, to Laverne Cox, and
many others. Janet Mock is here tonight.
And I want to thank them all publicly, and
the ESPYs, and the late Arthur Ashe, and his
family, for giving me this platform to start
the next phase of my journey. I also want
to acknowledge all the young trans athletes
who are out there — given the chance to
play sports as who they really are.
And now, as of this week, it appears that
trans people will soon be serving in the
military. That’s a great idea. We have come
along way. But we have a lot of work to do.
I’d like to thank personally, my buddy
Diane Sawyer. You know, you can only tell
your story the first time once and Diane you
did it so authentically and so gracefully. And
me and the community is so thankful for
that. And I thank you so much Diane, I’m so
proud to have you as a friend.
Here comes the tough part. I’d like to
thank my family. Now 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 has accomplished 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.
And certainly last, but not least, my
mother. My mom who, just a little over a
week ago, had to have surgery and I didn’t
think she was going to make it, but she is
here with me tonight to share this night.
Now, you know I always thought that I got
my courage and my determination from my
dad. He landed on Omaha beach and fought
all the way through World War 2. But you
know what I’m realizing now, Mom, is that
I got all those qualities form you. I love you
very much. I’m so glad you’re here to share
this with me.
You know, it is an honor to have the word
courage associated with my life. But on this
night another word comes to mind and that
is fortunate. I owe a lot to sports. It showed
me the world, it has given me an identity.
If someone wanted to bully me, well, you
know what? I was the MVP of the football
team. That just wasn’t going to be a problem.
And the same thing goes tonight. If you want
to call me names, make jokes, doubt my
intentions, go ahead, because 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.
So for the people out there wondering
what this is all about — whether it’s about
courage or controversy or publicity — well,
I’ll tell you what it’s 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
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."
Thank you so much for this platform.
Thank you so much for this honor bestowed
on myself and my family. Thank you."
If you want to call me
names, make jokes,
doubt my intentions,
go ahead, because 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.
of color, was
found in a field
stabbed to death.
Sam (known to
some as Casper)
Taub, a 15-year-
suicide in April.
Photo: Chris Morrow, CNN.
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