Photo courtesy of Flickr
By: We’Ced Youth Media
Editor’s Note: When sports network ESPN announced its decision to award the coveted Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner, social media was quick to respond. Many argued that Jenner, who won gold in the 1976 decathlon as Bruce Jenner, did not deserve the honor. Below, We’Ced youth reporters share their thoughts on the award and on Jenner’s decision to embrace her gender in public.
“I think Caitlyn Jenner deserved the award given to her by ESPN. She is a hero because she stood up and stands up for herself and the transgender community. For a long time she has been in the spotlight as a male role model, so the fact that she came out as female and is finally herself truly is courageous. That courage award was well deserved.”
Adrian Saenz, 17.
“I don’t think Caitlyn Jenner is a hero. Although she did stand up for many people, I don’t think we should try to convince society to be more accepting, because in reality that will never happen. You can’t teach people to accept others who are different from you, especially in regards to their personal beliefs and things likes sexuality and religion. Differences are what make people unique.”
Lisbeth Marquez, 18
“Caitlyn Jenner receiving an award was very impactful. When she came out, people despised her decision, and now this award validates her courage. I am a supporter of the LGBTQ community and will always fight for their rights. I think there is no need to attack her [if someone] does not agree with her lifestyle. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they should not put others down.”
Allie Kidwell, 14
“Cailyn Jenner is a hero. She may not be a military hero, but Jenner does serve her country. She serves as an idol, a transgendered idol for youth across America and the world. She is a positive successful role model and nothing anyone is saying will bring her down. Jenner does not deserve the negativity directed towards her. Nobody does, but as she said during her acceptance speech, she can take all the malicious comments. Her speech sent an important message to trans youth and it showed her bravery, resilience and perseverance.”
Maria Hammet, 18.
“Often youth look up to celebrities because they are seen as influential and powerful. In this case, Caitlyn Jenner is a hero to the the transgendered community because people can relate to her and her struggles, and she has not been afraid to talk about it. Everyone needs someone to be be inspired by and look up to. Jenner has become a hero for this population and I am glad they have her as a role model.”
Deborah Juarez, 19