Caitlyn Jenner isn’t going to win everyone over, and she probably already knows that. Revealing herself to the world as trans, and all the recognition that comes with that, has already done much for the lives of other trans folks.
When Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPY Awards recently, she took the opportunity to encourage others to reach out to trans people who may be having a hard time.
“Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but with attention comes responsibility,” Caitlyn Jenner said. “As a group, as athletes, how you conduct your lives, what you say, what you do is observed by millions of people, especially young people.”
“My plea to you tonight is to join me,” Jenner told the crowd. “Trans people deserve something. They deserve your respect. And from that respect comes a more compassionate country, a more empathetic society and a better world for all of us.”
“All across this country, at this very moment there are young people coming to terms with being trans. They are getting bullied. They are getting beat up. They are getting murdered, and they are committing suicide. … If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead. The truth is I can take it. But for the kids out there coming to terms with being true with who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it.”
“We have come a long way,” Caitlyn said. “But we have a lot of work to do.”
No matter how you feel about Caitlyn Jenner & whether she should/shouldn't be winning this ESPY award – she's saving lives. That's courage.
— andy lassner (@andylassner) July 16, 2015
While there were many snide remarks about whether Jenner should be given the Arthur Ashe award, most seemed to die down once the award was actually given. But D.L. Hughley couldn’t let it go.
Hughley probably thought he had a reasoned approach to his opposition to Jenner’s receiving the award, but his words betray the very insensitivity that Caitlyn decried in her speech.
Hughley said that Arthur Ashe thrived in “a very segregated profession, he fought AIDS with dignity and honor, and Caitlyn Jenner put on a dress. I don’t think it’s the same thing.”
“I think Arthur Ashe and Caitlyn Jenner have very little in common,” Hughley argued.
@RealDLHughley is too real, wish more celebs spoke their full minds.
— Enligh.† (@ThisisWatley) July 18, 2015
Hughley used the recent occasion of Serena Williams’ appearance being mocked to somehow justify mocking Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance, referring to her as “Bruce” again.
“In the last month, we had the media telling us that Caitlyn Jenner was beautiful and that Serena Williams looks like a man,” Hughley said. “That was a little weird to me. The man looks like a woman, but the woman looks like a man. That’s ridiculous. Serena Williams is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen on a tennis court, and Bruce Jenner looks like every P.E. teacher I ever had.”
He then posted a meme comparing Caitlyn Jenner’s looks to Mrs. Doubtfire.
— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) July 18, 2015
D.L. Hughley … you are wrong.