Celebrities React to Caitlyn Jenner’s Emotional ESPY Awards Speech

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘I couldn’t be more proud now': Caitlyn Jenner’s mother Esther, 88, pays tribute to her child smiling through tears of joy at ESPY Awards.

As Caitlyn Jenner took to the stage on Wednesday to accept her Arthur Ashe Courage Award, at the ESPY’s, there was one woman in the audience who was possibly more proud than anyone else in the room – her Mum. Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner issued an impassioned plea for transgender acceptance Wednesday in her first public appearance since coming out as a transgender woman, defying a blizzard of derision on social media. Esther Jenner smiled through tears of joy and pride, her face beaming, as her child spoke from the heart to an audience filled with some of the sporting world’s most talented and gifted. Seen speaking in a video before Caitlyn went up to the podium, the mother of two was candid, honest and loving about her feelings regarding her son Bruce, who made the brave step to become the woman she is today.

However, although her words seemed to suggest she blamed herself in some part for not sensing how her child was feeling, she is now pleased and proud beyond measure Caitlyn has found peace. Named for the US tennis star who died of AIDS in 1993, the Arthur Ashe award has in past years gone to athletes like Billy Jean King and Muhammad Ali and non-athletes including Nelson Mandela. Wearing a floor length white gown which accentuated her waist, her brunette locks coiffed to one side over her shoulder, the Olympian was emotional as she paid tribute her family and those who had supported her. But throughout the three-hour prime-time ESPY broadcast, hundreds of posts appeared on Twitter demanding to know why the Olympian turned reality TV star on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” was being honored for courage, four decades after a gold-medal triumph.

And she acknowledged that she felt it was inheriting Esther’s inner strength which had helped get her through the experience of undergoing transgender surgery, and revealing herself as a woman. Many thought Lauren Hill, who fulfilled her dream of playing college basketball in Ohio despite a brain tumor that took her life in April at the age of 19, was more deserving. The 65-year-old said: ‘I always thought I got my courage and determination from my Dad, but now I’m realising I got all those qualities from you I love you so much.’ Adding that it was touch and go Esther was going to be there as she had gone through surgery a week before she added: ‘It’s an honour to have the word courage associated with my life but tonight another word comes to mind – fortunate.’ She added that she was in full support of Caitlyn’s decision, but felt she still had to call her Bruce for the time being: ‘I still have to call him Bruce. It was preceded by a commercial for Google that portrayed a gym in Kansas City, Missouri and how it strives to give a sense of belonging to transgender youth. I’m new at this.” Jenner didn’t walk the red carpet outside the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, and she didn’t appear backstage to talk with reporters, as most of the previous Ashe award recipients have done.

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