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This emotional Caitlyn Jenner speech has had everyone talking today

At the ESPYs last night the 65-year-old spoke of stories of trans teenagers who had been bullied, beaten up, murdered or who had taken their own lives.

Updated 10.30pm

Source: ScoopFeedVideo/YouTube

CAITLYN JENNER ACCEPTED the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs on last night, while urging acceptance for others who are transgender.

She received a standing ovation from some of the sporting world’s biggest stars after her 10-minute speech during the annual awards honouring the year’s top athletes and moments.

“This transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine,” said Jenner.

Noting her powerful celebrity platform, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion and current reality TV star vowed “to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how transgender people are viewed and treated.”

Reaction

The reaction to her speech has been huge.

 

Jenner posted a photo this evening of her preparation for the big speech:

‘I never wanted to hurt anyone’

Abby Wambach of the US soccer team that won the Women’s World Cup presented the trophy to Jenner, whose voice broke as she thanked members of her famous family, including stepdaughters Kim and Khloe Kardashian. Tears welled in the eyes of Jenner’s younger daughter, Kylie, whose sister, Kendall, wiped a tear from her eye.

“I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids,” said Jenner, wiping her eye.

She admitted that until earlier this year she had never met another transgender person.

The 65-year-old told the audience about trans teenagers who are bullied, beaten up, murdered or who take their own lives. Jenner mentioned two people by name whose deaths particularly touched her.

“Trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect,” she said. “From that respect comes a more compassionate community.”

Jenner urged the crowd that included football, basketball, baseball and hockey superstars to remember what they say and do is “absorbed and observed by millions of people, especially young people.”

My plea for you tonight is one join me in making this one of your issues as well.

Many in the crowd watched intently as Jenner spoke with little reaction on their faces.

If you want to call me names, make jokes and doubt my intentions, go ahead because the reality is I can take it. But for thousands of kids out there coming to terms with the reality of who they are they shouldn’t have to take it.

‘OK girls, I get it’

A video narrated by “Mad Men” actor Jon Hamm traced Jenner’s life from the time when she was known as Bruce Jenner to her current transition. She mentioned she once considered ending her own life with a gun she owned.

She was shown applying makeup, buttoning her blouse in her closet and fastening the strap on her heeled shoes.

With her trembling hands clasped in front of her, Jenner joked with the audience about her struggle to select the cream gown she wore.

“OK girls, I get it,” she said, as the audience laughed. “You’ve got to get the shoes, the hair, the makeup, it was exhausting. And the fashion police, please be kind on me. I’m new at this.”

- Additional reporting Aoife Barry

Read: Transgender children are ‘living in a nightmare’>

Read: Three have been forced to apologise for any offence caused by this ‘transphobic’ billboard>

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