Caitlyn Jenner, on conquering her biggest fear
By now, you’ve probably heard that Caitlyn Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs last week. Even though Jenner has a huge amount of supporters and encouragers, the ESPYs have gotten a lot of flack from critics who believe the award should have gone to someone other than Jenner. But amidst all the noise, Jenner isn’t allowing the negativity to stop her from continuing to make sure her voice is heard.
Jenner has partnered with WhoSay to write a weekly series of editorials called “The Real Me,” which will help bring some much-needed awareness to the issues surrounding people in the LGBT community. In this week’s editorial, Jenner began the piece by discussing how she felt while getting ready for the ESPYs and wearing a custom-made dress for the first time. She also hit on why making a speech at the ceremony unexpectedly forced her to tap into one of her greatest fears.
She wrote, “Over the last month, I was so worried about what to wear. Donatella Versace reached out to me and said, ‘I want to do the dress.’ I said, ‘I am SO in.’ We started with designs; they made the dress in Italy. Her head dressmaker came over, and we did two fittings to make sure we got it just absolutely perfect. It was like every fantasy of my life come true.”
Even though Jenner was super nervous about tripping over her white dress while walking up to the stage to accept the award from Abby Wambach (we would have been too!), tripping wasn’t what frightened her the most — it was reading from the teleprompter. Being dyslexic as a kid, Jenner has always relied on her memory when public speaking, as opposed to reading something already written, like a teleprompter — but in this situation, she didn’t have a choice.
“Reading my speech off of the teleprompter was a whole other story,” Jenner wrote. “As I was a dyslexic kid, my biggest fear in life was to go in front of the class and read because I just wasn’t very good at it – and that stays with you through your whole life. That’s why all of my speaking engagements through the years have been always off-the-cuff. I’m better off getting up there knowing what I’m going to say and doing it. But at the ESPYs, I really had to stick to the prompter because I only had a certain number of minutes to make it right, to get my points across. I practiced and practiced and practiced and practiced to make sure I’d nail it.”
She definitely nailed it. Despite what critics may say, if Jenner inspires people to be their best selves, not only because she was once the greatest athlete in the world, but because she is living her authentic life, all while conquering fears that once debilitated her — that’s pretty special — and in our eyes, absolutely worthy of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
In case that wasn’t enough awesome Caitlyn Jenner news, here’s something else fantastic that happened this week . . . Jenner and Laverne Cox, both big supporters of one another, finally met in person! They’ve been tweeting their mutual admiration back and forth for a while now, so it’s really exciting that they were finally able to admire each other’s courage in person. We almost can’t even handle how great this is.
Cox posted this gorgeous photo on Instagram and captioned it, “@caitlynjenner and I finally met in person at a special private advance screening of #IAmCait. #TransIsBeautiful #girlslikeus.”
Congratulations to Jenner for achieving such an important honor from the ESPYs and for overcoming her fear of reading in public. And for giving us such a frame-worthy Cox + Jenner pic. Consider us inspired.
In case you missed Jenner’s speech, you can see it here.
[Featured images via Instagram, OKmagazine]