ESPY’s Highlight – Caitlyn Jenner

by: Alicia M. Blanco

cait

I wrote an article a while ago about Bruce Jenner- and I got a wave of responses to it. Everything from people who absolutely support and respect the transition, and others who are completely bothered and disgusted by it.

Whether or not you agree with what’s happening here, I think its important to acknowledge that the world we live in today is so much more diverse than its ever been before. I’m actually pretty excited to be living during such a unique time period as this.

Last night at the ESPYs, Caitlyn Jenner was presented with the Arthur Ashe award for COURAGE. Her acceptance speech obviously made me super emotional and I wanted to defend her today as I’m seeing a lot of people posting about how undeserving she is of such a prestigious award.

To me, courage comes in all different forms. From our military and armed forces who bravely defend our country day in and day out, to the kid at school who bravely defends his classmate being bullied – courage can be seen in many different ways.

Personally, I find Caitlyn’s story to be incredibly courageous and her award, completely deserved.

Imagine living your life with a miserable state of mind, just like Bruce was doing. Bruce hid behind a façade of masculinity and athleticism in order to distract him from his inner most thoughts – that he was actually a she. Imagine spending over six decades with a secret such as this and then, under a magnifying glass, making the very brave decision to open up to the entire WORLD about it.

Taking on an entirely new identity while the world watches, criticizes, ridicules, judges, and follows your every step has to be traumatic. And it takes major courage to do it anyway. My friend Terri said it perfectly today. She told me:

“every advance we ever make in this country starts with one person standing up and willing to take a beating from the public to shine a light on their cause—racism, women’s rights, gay rights and now transgenderism…”

Spot on, Terri.

It starts with one.

One person to stand up for what they believe in; Or one person to open up about their stories. Being relatable, approachable and vulnerable is courageous – Its being human in the most authentic form and not pretending everything is so damn perfect all of the time.

Caitlyn is doing it for the benefit of her own inner happiness and also for the countless others living today who struggle with gender identity.

Don’t tell me that’s not courageous.

(And I can’t even hate on her look last night either. Versace! HELLO! WERK, honey.)

My wish is that we can all live in a more accepting world. Why is it that when something good happens, (someone winning an award, for example) there has to be soooooo many people to instantly criticize it and find the problems with it instead? It’s almost depressing to open up my social media and see all the hate. It hasn’t even been 24 hours, people! I just want this to be a world where everyone can just be themselves and not feel sorry about it.

With that being said, I also want this to be a world where we can all respect each others varying opinions. What a boring world this would be if we all were on the same exact page about everything. So I’m not over here suggesting we all suppress our opinions on what’s going on in society, but rather, I am encouraging more love and kindness. That’s it. The old rule is “if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” But I would like to change that because I realize we shouldn’t subscribe to saying nothing at all. It’s just HOW YOU SAY IT that can make an impact…

I think we are here in this world to help each other out. And if you can’t help someone, just please, don’t hurt them.

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12 thoughts on “ESPY’s Highlight – Caitlyn Jenner

  1. I have held myself back from commenting on this site for a long time considering how I am an acquaintance of yours and would not like to offend you…but this is ridiculous. This woman is taking the spotlight away from people who truly deserve this. You are forgetting one major part of this fiasco (and yes this is a fiasco more to come on that in a second) which is the fact that she only received this award because she agreed to do a tell all with ABC!! So “hero”, “courage” and whatever other inappropriate adjectives are being used to describe this person is nothing more than an attention whore and media darling that is taking this award away from the deserving people who were also nominated. What challenges did she overcome? Money? Nope. at least not as a woman. resistance? his family supported his decision. Persecution? Absolutely not. He was able to complete the transition, he was never attacked or harmed other than through internet trolls, AND during this process he killed somebody in a car accident. So let’s add this up:

    On a SPORTS AWARDS SHOW, the award dedicated to COURAGE IN SPORTS, is given to a woman who has accomplished ZERO ZILCH NADA NOTHING in sports and only accomplished those things as a man. I don’t care what he or she chooses to do with their life thats their choice and something I do not understand, but the fact is this is an embarassment for ABC, ESPN, and anyone who thinks Caitlyn Jenner is more deserving than either of the other two candidates. It takes courage to go into public as a woman and face the media…sure. But her situation does not even compare to those who are transgendered and poor, or living in destitute areas, or in countries where even being homosexual is an offense punishable by death. He is rich, entitled, and craves the attention. How did a sports show become a political statement? What does that say to the families of the girl who passed away from brain cancer or the man who lost an arm and a leg? Is it better to give a tell all and receive an award because you WANT it than EARN it? She should be condemned for her actions and even criticized. I disagree wholeheartedly with this article, I think you should re-evaluate the facts in this situation, and finally think about what the families of the person he killed in the car accident are thinking about him receiving a “COURAGE” award.

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      • even those that did not earn the award but get the praise? By taking it from someone who died of cancer and someone who lost their leg and arm? Who does deserve condemnation? I do not hold those above others that USE their position within media to win awards.

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      • well I think Caitlyn has the unique opportunity as a celebrity to shed more light on transgenderism. To live out something so personal, and on such a huge stage – I think that’s pretty selfless actually. i understand you think its just to get paid and get attention – but I can think of a zilllllllion other ways to make some easy money – but undergoing a HUGE life altering transition… under the public eye, is not one of them.

        I think a friend of mine said it perfectly and addresses a lot of what you disagree so passionately about: “courage comes in many forms and one form does not take away from another. A soldier, a new mother, a cancer survivor, a mountain climber, an autistic child all are courageous. I have heard criticisms of Caitlyn saying that she ‘should have not made this public and instead done this privately’–REALLY? A famous Olympic gold medalist is going to fly under the radar? She was going to be ‘outed’ no matter what, so she took the courageous step to try and make a difference in the transgender community. Others have said that she is capitalizing on this transition by having a show where she gets paid to talk about her journey….I can think of a lot of easier ways to make money than that. When Caitlyn was Bruce, he commanded six figures as a motivational speaker and could have continued that route, but would have had to continue to sell his soul to do so. She is the Martin Luther King and Gloria Steinhem of transgenderism. It is clearly lost on some as to why the award is called the Arthur Ashe Award, as Ashe was ostracized for having HIV and he became the face of AIDS awareness in sports through his painful journey. There is a parallel here that the general public is missing.”

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      • This is in reply to your reply below…I cannot find the reply button. You are correct. She could / could not have done this publicly…however what about the fact she killed someone in a car accident which is not resolved and in most cases ends in a manslaughter charge? How about the fact that the ONLY reason she is getting this award is BECAUSE she made it public? The problem with using media as a reason for “courage” is that this is the WRONG media. You would not tune into espn on a nightly basis to watch a documentary on sea otters. Viewers who were watching ESPN tuned in to see a Courageous award being given to someone who exemplified courage IN SPORTS. not someone who exemplified courage period. This was not a referendum or a forum on human decency, this was also not a show about teaching others that transgender humans are ok, this was a SPORTS AWARDS show. Here is one you can relate to: You competed for Miss America, what if they gave the award to someone who was a former miss america competitor, and had become a man? Would you be against it? Again, let me make sure it’s clear, I do not have any problems issues or concerns with him choosing to be her, I have a problem with giving her honor and calling her courageous for THIS act. Maybe doing that in public is fine, but she did not deserve this award. COURAGE yes, COURAGE IN SPORTS, no.

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      • I see what you’re saying. Two different things – i can see why it would bother you and several others that she is being awarded for courage in sports (which was 40 years ago that he last contributed anything to sports) – so, yes, I get that. My blog is more about the fact that people always have to do THIS EXACT THING – criticize.. why can’t we just be happy for the dude/lady? lol. And lastly, to answer your other question regarding Miss USA: if they gave the award to someone who was a man before, I would help with putting the sash AND crown on him. Why – because times’ are a-changin. Evolvin. And I’m really excited about that.

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  2. If you are going to bash people on social media for wish to have a sense of privacy then I will continue to post things as “rather not say”. Not everyone wishes to have attention brought upon themselves and have a modest adult conversation without having to be judged for who they are. Courage is not social media or blogs. Courage is respecting the right to someone’s free speech.

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    • Hence why I am such an advocate for accepting OPINIONS. I totally respect yours. And this blog is entirely mine. Not everyone has to agree with it (as I say in nearly ALL of my blogs where I share my OPINIONS…) BUT ABOVE ALL ELSE, I’m an advocate for love and acceptance..not condemnation and criticism, as you suggested as what NEEDS to happen to Caitlyn.

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    • Also, it’s not bashing to request that you say your name – just for me- If we are friends, go ahead and text me instead, so we can have a modest adult convo, per your suggestion! 🙂 xoxo (or you could always send me direct message on FB too!)

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      • We are friends, as you can tell by my first repsonse lol. If I had your phone number, I don’t have it anymore. I am not condemning her way of life, choices, her struggles… but do I think that she should have been given a forum at a sports awards show to talk about transgender struggles when she didn’t actually earn her award over two people who actually deserved it more? I take what she is discussing seriously, but I do not take people seriously who are awarded things for…nothing. His contribution to the sports world was 40+ years ago. Nelson Mandela has received this award. Is caitlyn jenner a nelson mandela level honoree? I believe you would also say no.

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      • Well, for lack of a better example, year after year, actors and singers from total opposite spectrum levels win the same exact award (Oscars & Grammys respectively) – from totally and completely different sounds and talent levels, yet winning the same prestigious awards and recognitions. So, while I don’t think there is any comparison to Nelson Mandela and Caitlyn Jenner, I think you get what I’m saying here. The world is evolving and people are being recognized for standing up for something they believe in and something they want to HELP OTHERS who might be experiencing the same traumatic feelings with. So, controversial as it may be, it’s also courageous (again, in my OPINION)

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