Caitlyn Jenner Accepts Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPYS, Says "Make Your Jokes About Me, but Leave the Kids Alone"

"While it may not be easy to get past things you don't always understand, I wanna prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together."

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Given that the Arthur Ashe Courage Award was meant to honor Caitlyn Jenner's bravery in the face of a daunting public gender transition, very little about Jenner's acceptance speech was about her at all.

As a matter of fact, the 65-year-old parent of 10 spent the majority of her time on stage bringing attention to transgender issues, including alarming statistics on transgender suicide and death.

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She also revealed that despite years of grueling training, sports events and high-pressure olympics performances, her transition remains the most challenging experience she's ever had.

With attention comes responsibility; how you conduct your lives, what you say [and] what you do is absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people. I'll do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans people are viewed, how they're treated, and to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are.

In response to those claims that Jenner has adopted this transition for attention or fame, she stated confidently that naysayers are free to say whatever they like about her because she could handle it. It was the community, and the kids dealing with a struggle similar to hers, that she asked we all respect.

"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 shoudn'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.

"While it may not be easy to get past things you don't always understand, I wanna prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together."

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