At the ESPYs on Wednesday night, Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. It was Jenner's first major public appearance since coming out in June on the cover of Vanity Fair.
After a moving segment about Jenner's coming out that included interview with her family members and her mother, US women's national soccer team member Abby Wambach welcomed Jenner to the stage. Jenner's speech heavily focused on transgender rights.
"Trans people deserve something vital," Jenner said. "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."
Jenner eloquently talked about the bullying, hate crimes, and threats that transgender people all around the world face. But it was toward the tail end of her speech that she began to really drive home her point about the fear and the difficulty that is a reality in the lives of transgender people — that being different, being transgender, can sometimes mean isolation from the people you love.
"I'd like to thank my family," she said, her voice beginning to crack and tears welling in her eyes. With her children in attendance, Jenner said she was grateful for her family's acceptance.
"The biggest fear of coming out is I never wanted to hurt anyone else," she said. "It is an honor to have the word courage associated with my life. But on this night there's another word that comes to mind …fortunate."