Caitlyn Jenner is truly a gracious winner. The reality star was recognized for her achievements in the transgender community at the 2015 ‘Glamour’ Women of the Year Awards and she gave an uplifting speech, thanking her family for sticking by her side and not ‘abandoning her.’
Caitlyn Jenner, 66, was given “The Transgender Champion” award at the 2015 Glamour Women of the Year awards in NYC on Nov. 9. Caitlyn took the stage to give a profound speech, where she thanked her family telling them how much she appreciates their loyalty to her through this tough time in her life. In the nearly six months since Caitlyn publicly revealed her gender transition, she has already established herself as an amazing force in the transgender community. Her speech was amazing and you can read it in full, here!
Cait started out praising her family in a short video played before her speech which included daughter Kylie Jenner. In the video, Caitlyn says: “I’m so blessed I have family. Not one has abandoned me they’ve been supportive of me, it’s been great.” (They then showed the picture from Father’s Day of Caitlyn in the white dress with all the kids.) Kylie says in the video: “She’s such a good role model for so many people.”
When Cait took the stage for her speech she continued to thank strong women role models. “Judith, you have been such a supported of our community you have done so many things for so many gender nonconforming people,” she said. “To have you present tonight means so much to me, and the community, and I really want to thank you. When it comes to gender, everyone in this room is on a journey. We are constantly learning, growing as human beings, learning about ourselves. But there’s a segment of this population that when it comes to gender, there is mass confusion deep down inside.
“It has caused problems through out the world because this is an issue about humanity, it doesn’t have borders. There was a French activist and writer – Simone de Beauvoir, who said, “you are not born a woman, you become one.” Words I live by. My transition was very, very, wrong. I had many, many, many years of isolation of hiding from the world, lying to the world, of not being myself. I got to a few years ago. I was back out in Malibu in my home all alone. I’ve raised wonderful children and I thought what am I going to do with my life? I’ve isolated myself, I’ve lied to myself, and lied to the world for so long, what am I going to do with my life? So I sat down with one of my 10 children and it was the big secret in the family that no one could talk about because I was getting destroyed in the tabloids every week walking through the grocery line looking at the headlines, and so were my children – it was hurtful. So I sat each one of them down and said to them this is my story this is who I am – what can I do. I sat down with my pastor, talked to him, about my issues. And yes, I had a lot of conversations with God. And I came to the conclusion that you know what, maybe this is why god put me on this earth. To tell my story. To be authentic to myself about who I am and in doing that, maybe you can make a difference in the world. What a great opportunity in life to have. So few of us ever get that opportunity.
“So, it started with Diane Sawyer, so eloquently and beautifully telling my story, and then 2 months later when the pictures and the name came out, boy oh boy did the conversation change. The media said terrible things about you and everyone became homophobic. The whole conversation changed. I know all of these people coming up to me saying, well what’s your style? Who are your heroes? All these questions and I said ‘oh my gosh I have so much to learn.’ Over this last 6 months, it has been the most eye opening experience of my life. For years and years I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I always felt as an outsider. I never felt good in the male side and I wasn’t obviously on the female side. I was kind of stuck in the middle. But all of a sudden after making this decision, it was by far the best thing I ever did.
“For some years I literally lost my enthusiasm for life, literally standing in my house for 6 years because I literally never wanted to come out — just to go to work that’s it. Now, actually, I like going out and I like being myself. I’ve been doing that, it’s been amazing the opportunity we have for change, for people to understand this issue because its so difficult. I could not have done it without the people who have gone before me. The Laverne Cox’s of the world. I had never met anyone else who is trans until after I came out.
“What I learned about this community is what a great group of women there are out there. Who have worked so hard to be authentic to themselves and authentic to womanhood. To Glamour magazine, I have to tell you a story quick. I haven’t been on the airlines in over a year, why? Because I haven’t had authentic id. and finally last week, I got my drivers license! A picture and a checker mark for ‘F’. So, it’s always the little things in life that really you notice. I was sitting on a plane, reading Glamour magazine, and really for the first time, not folding the cover over so nobody could see what I actually was reading. I had that thing opened beautifully, reading from Glamour magazine, it was absolutely great. Thank you Glamour magazine for honoring me tonight, I never thought in a million years I’d be here and I’m sure you didn’t either. Thank you very much.”
Wow so amazing! Prior to the awards, Caitlyn did an interview with Glamour about her WOTY honor and why her journey has been so important for her and people facing similar struggles to those she once dealt with. “I started thinking, ‘Maybe this is why God put me on earth,'” she told the mag. “This issue has been swept under the rug for so long. I need to tell this story on the highest level you can possibly do it. Not just for me but for this entire community.”
Along with Caitlyn, the awards will honor Reese Witherspoon, Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Holmes, Cecile Richards, Misty Copeland, the women of Charleston, S.C., and the entire U.S. women’s national soccer team. That’s quite the bunch of amazing women, and we’re certainly glad Caitlyn was selected to be part of this year’s ceremony!
Did you love Caitlyn’s speech, HollywoodLifers? Send your congrats to Caitlyn for being honored for her achievements!
— Taylor Weatherby