Caitlyn Jenner Accepts Arthur Ashe Courage Award

One of the world's best athletes highlighted the importance of 'accepting people for who they are.'
13:04 | 07/16/15

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Transcript for Caitlyn Jenner Accepts Arthur Ashe Courage Award
The proudest moments in my fair. Have come representing my country. Wind industry. Home of the Braves. The part of Americana. Is understanding. That we can always get better. Arthur Ashe knew that and that's why he worked so hard to shape the legacy of education. Equal rights encourage. So let's talk about a way we can make our country batter. Let's talk about an issue. Not enough of us stand up for. At some point in their lives. 20% of change and they're people are homeless. They get bullied and assaulted. And murdered at dramatically higher rates than the general public. And one recent study. Said that 41%. Of them attempt suicide at some point in their lives. Now though. There's a new story. The story or someone whose mission is and to bring attention to herself. But the ones who truly need it. I never saw Bruce Jenner compete in Olympic Games I got to know the name from going up as as a sports fan and watching television. The lake all of us. I never knew the real story. I don't watching it does see you. What it did to me. Surprise you. Teach you. And help make our country a better place to live at a better model for the world. Ladies and gentlemen. Occur agents. The stunning. Caitlin Jenner. While I after talking for them. Thank you so much and it is so wonderful. In the air tonight. Now the last few months have been a whirlwind of so. Many different experiences. And emotions. But to tell you the truth it seems like. Every time I turn around and life. I'm putting myself in these high pressure situations. Competing in the game she's raising a family. But I've never felt more pressure than I ever have felt in my life and over the last couple of months. Picking out this outfit okay girls I get it. We got to get the shoes the hair the make up the whole process it was exhausting. And Nash. The fashion police. Rough. Please be kind on me I'm who witnessed but anyway. And I just want to take a quick shout out to our soccer team that that they had absolutely. Maybe. Very well. Well the real truth is that before just a few weeks or through months ago. I had never met anybody else who wish trance it was like me I had never met a trans person never. As you saw I dealt what my situation. On my home in private. And that turned this journey. Into an already and credible education. It's been an eye opening. Inspiring. But also frightening. All across this country right now all across the world at this very moment. There are young people coming to terms with a being transgender. They're learning that there are different. And they're trying to figure out how to handle that on top of every other problem that a teenager Hess. They're getting bullet. They're getting beaten up. They're getting murder. And the committing suicide. The numbers that you just heard before staggering. But there are V reality. Of what it's like to be trance today. Just last month. The body of seventeen year old Mercedes Williamson. Much Richard Young woman of color was found. In a field in Mississippi. Stabbed to death. I also want to tell you about Sam pop up fifteen year old transgender young man from Bloomfield. Michigan. And early April. Sam took his own life. Now since story haunts me in particular because his death came just. A few days before ABC aired my interview we're Diane Sawyer. Every time something like this happens. People wonder. Put it have been different. If spotlighting this issue with more attention. Could've changed the way things happen. We'll never know. If there's one thing I do know about my life. It is the power the spotlight. Sometimes. It gets overwhelming. But with a tension. Comes responsibility. As a group. As athletes. How you conduct your lives. What you say. What you do. Is absorbed. And observed by millions of people especially young people. I dawned clear with my responsibility going forward to tell my story the right way for me. To keep learning. To do whatever I can't to reshape the landscape of how transient issues are you how trance people are treated. And then more broadly. To promote a very simple idea. Except deep people for who they are. Accepting people there. But. Mike leaving you tonight. They should join me in making this one of your issues as well. Now we start. We start with a education. I was fortunate enough to meet Arthur Ashe a few times and I know how important education much to him. Learn as much as you can add about another person. To understand them better. I know the people in this room. Have respect. For hard work. For training. For goalie through something difficult. To achieve the outcome that you desire. I trained hard. I competed hard and for that people respected man. But this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine. And that's the case for so many others besides me. For that reason along. Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve. Your respect. I'm from that respect. Comes a more compassionate community. And more empathetic society. And a better world for all of us. There have been sold many who have traveled this road before me from a sports Renee Richards to Chaz Bono. So Laverne cops. And many others. Janet Mott whose reveres the night. I want to thank them all public thing as well as the S threes in the late our correction his family for giving me this platform to start this next phase of my journey. I also want to acknowledge all of the young trans athletes who are out there. Given the chance to play sports as move they really are. And now. Now as of this week it appears the trans people would soon be serving in the military that's a great Baghdad. We have come a long way. What we have a lot of work to do. I'd like to thank personally. My buddy Diane Sawyer. Get out. You can only tell your story the first time wants to die and you did it shall authentically and so gracefully. And be the community is so thankful for that and I thank you so much thing. I'm so proud to have you as a friend. Here comes the tough part. I like to thank my fair might. Now. The biggest Europe always had a coming out. As I never wanted to hurt anyone else. Most of all. My family and my kids. Are those one of my children be so proud of her dad. What it was able to accomplish in his life. You guys have given so much back to meet you give me so much support. I am so so. Grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you. And certainly last but not lace. My mother. My mom. Who just a little over a weekend little over a week ago. Had to have surgery. I didn't think she was going to make get. And then but she is here with me tonight to share this night. Now. No I always thought. That I got my courage and my determination from my dad who landed on Omaha Beach fought all the way through World War II. But you know what I'm realizing now mom I think I got all those qualities from you. Love you grandma. I'm so glad you're here to. Share this week. You know it is an honor to have the work courage associated with my life out. Our on this night another word comes to mind and that is fortunate. I owe lot. To sports. That should show me the world. It's giving me an identity. If someone wanted to believe me well you know what I was the MVP of the football team that just wasn't going to be a problem. And the same thing goes tonight. If you want to call me names make jokes about my attention still ahead because the reality is. I can take. 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. Yeah. So for the people out there wondering what. This is all about. Whether it's about courage for controversy or publicity. Well I'll tell you what it's all about. It's about what happens from here. It's not just about one person. It's about thousands of people. Not just about me. It's about all of us pick chef dean wanton another. World different. That's not a bad thing that's a good thing. And while it may not be easy to get past that things you always don't wonders day. I want to prove that it is absolutely possible. If we only. Do it together. Thank you so much for this. Why won't thank you so much. It showed on myself and my Fam.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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