Los Angeles: Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner issued an impassioned plea for transgender acceptance on Wednesday in her first public appearance since coming out as a transgender woman, defying a blizzard of derision on social media.
Caitlyn Jenner waves to the audience after accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Pic/Getty Images
Formerly Bruce Jenner, the US decathlon champion of the 1976 Montreal Olympics seized the moment for transgender advocacy as she collected the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Sports Awards gala in Los Angeles.
"If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead because the reality is, I can take it," said Jenner, 65, dominating the stage in an elegant white gown.
"But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are — they shouldn't have to take it," she said to robust applause.
It was Jenner's first major public appearance since coming out as a transgender woman in an televised interview in April where she discussed how she had been grappling her gender identity since childhood.