Caitlyn Jenner bravely stood up last night to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, in front of a room of many famous athletes, many of them who probably have a hard time understanding what she has gone through the past 65 years. Listening to her speak, I couldn’t help but tear up. She spoke eloquently, unselfishly speaking about how important it is that we recognize the trans people who do not feel supported, and spoke about how we need to respect and accept people for who they are.
Being a gay woman, I speak a lot about how when I was in high school, being trans was not even a topic that was discussed. It was something that was taboo, not accepted, those people were freaks. Today, there are still many of those issues, but if you would have asked me 10 years ago if I thought that a trans woman would be speaking at the ESPY Awards about the importance of acceptance, I would have told you you were absolutely crazy.
I remember when I was younger, my mom asked me if I wanted to be a boy. I immediately shot back with “of course not!” I was gay, I didn’t want to be a boy. I know now that the reason I responded that way, was because of my lack of education and my lack of understanding of the trans community. It was black and white to me, you were gay or you weren’t, anything else was just weird.
Today, I have learned to educate myself, and understand what others go through. I accept people for who they are and who they want to be. I don’t judge and I don’t hate. I love all types of people and those that I admire the most, are the ones that are unafraid to be themselves. There are many that I admire from afar that I am not sure they are aware of, know I see you and support you. I appreciate that they are themselves, despite the struggle they may have had to get there.
I have to admit I have thought a lot about my gender in the last few years. To be honest, I feel 100% more masculine than feminine. I don’t like being referred to as a lady and I feel uncomfortable most of the time in feminine roles, but I don’t feel 100% a man either. I feel awkward about some of my female parts, such as my chest, which is why I think I have always worn really tight sports bras to try and hide it. I don’t really know what it all means for me yet, but what I do know is it is important to talk about it with others. To let them know it’s okay to feel the way you are feeling. To know that I struggle. It is important to be courageous and put yourself out there and to not have secrets.
Live life without abandon.
I appreciate people who are living their life the way that they want to live it. I think it is inspiring and courageous and beautiful. To get back to the inspiration for this post, I will leave you with a few of the ideas that Caitlyn spoke about last night.
- We need to be accepting people for who they are
- We need to learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better
- Trans people deserve something vital, our respect
If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you watch the speech here.