Watch as Caitlyn Jenner is awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at Wednesday night’s ESPY’s. She delivers an amazing, moving, incredible, humble â€“ and very important speech.
At Wednesday night’s ESPY’s Caitlyn Jenner delivered an extraordinary speech as she accepted theÂ Arthur Ashe Courage Award. She was gracious, grateful, thankful, humble, sincere, genuine, but perhaps most importantly, she pleaded for understanding, especially for transgender youth.
“Theyâ€™re learning that they’re different and they are trying to figure out how to handle that, on top of every other problem that a teenager has,” Jenner reminded the audience.
“They’re getting bullied, they’re getting beaten up, theyâ€™re getting murdered and theyâ€™re committing suicide. The numbers that you just heard before are staggering but they are the reality of what it is like to be trans today,” Jenner explained.
And, likely for the naysayers,Â she concluded by letting them know this isn’t about her.
“So for the people out there wondering what this is all about â€” whether itâ€™s about courage or controversy or publicity â€” well, Iâ€™ll tell you what itâ€™s all about. Itâ€™s about what happens from here. Itâ€™s not just about one person, itâ€™s about thousands of people. Itâ€™s not just about me, itâ€™s about all of us accepting one another. We’re all different. Thatâ€™s not a bad thing, thatâ€™s a good thing and while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”
Full transcript, via NY Daily News:
â€œThank you so much. It is so wonderful to be here tonight. The last few months have been a whirlwind of so many different experiences and emotions. But to tell you the truth, every time I turn around in life, Iâ€™m putting myself in these high-pressure situations. Competing in the Games, raising a family. But Iâ€™ve never felt more pressured than I ever have in my life, than the last couple of months. Picking out this outfit â€” O.K., girls, I get it! Youâ€™ve got to get the shoes, the hair the make-up, the whole process is was exhausting. And next, the fashion police â€” please be kind on me, Iâ€™m new at this.”
â€œBut Anyway, I just want to say a quick shout out to our soccer team. Ladies, you clean up very well.”
â€œWell the real truth is that, before a just a few weeks ago… few months ago I had never met anybody else who was trans, who was like me. I had never met a trans person, never. Now, as you just saw, I dealt with my situation on my own in private and that turned this journey into an already incredible education.”
â€œItâ€™s been 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 being transgender. Theyâ€™re learning that they’re different and they are trying to figure out how to handle that, on top of every other problem that a teenager has.”
â€œThey’re getting bullied, they’re getting beaten up, theyâ€™re getting murdered and theyâ€™re committing suicide. The numbers that you just heard before are staggering but they are the reality of what it is like to be trans today.”
â€œJust last month, the body of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, a transgender young woman of color was found in a field in Mississippi stabbed to death. I also want to tell you about Sam Taub, a 15-year-old transgender young man from Bloomfield, Michigan. In early April, Sam took his own life. Now, Samâ€™s story haunts me in particular because his death was a few days before ABC aired my interview with Diane Sawyer. Every time something like this happens, people wonder, “Could it have been different, if spotlighting this issue with more attention could have changed the way things happen?” Weâ€™ll never know.”
â€œIf there is one thing I do know about my life, it is the power of the spotlight. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but with attention 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 know Iâ€™m clear with my responsibility going forward, to tell my story the right way â€” for me, to keep learning, to do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed, how trans people are treated. And then more broadly to promote a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are. Accepting peopleâ€™s differences.”
â€œMy plea to you tonight is to join me in making this one of your issues as well. How do we start? We start with education. I was fortunate to meet Arthur Ashe a few times and I know how important education was to him. Learn as much as you can about another person to understand them better.”
â€œI know the people in this room have respect for hard work, for training, for going through something difficult to achieve the outcome that you desire. I trained hard, I competed hard, and for that, people respected me.”
â€œBut this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine. And thatâ€™s the case for so many others besides me. For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect. And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us.”
â€œThere have been so who have traveled this road before me. From, in sports, RenÃ©e Richards, to Chaz Bono, to Laverne Cox, and many others. Janet Mock is here tonight. And I want to thank them all publicly, and the ESPYs, and the late Arthur Ashe, for giving me this platform to start the next phase of my journey. I also want to acknowledge all the young trans athletes who are out there â€” given the chance to play sports as who they really are.”
â€œAnd now, as of this week, it appears trans people will soon be serving in the military. Thatâ€™s a great idea. We have come along way. But we have a lot of work to do.
â€œIâ€™d like to thank personally, my buddy Diane Sawyer. You know, you can only tell your story the first time once and Diane you did it so authentically and so gracefully. And me and the community is so thankful for that. Thank you so much Diane, Iâ€™m so proud to have you as a friend.”
â€œHere comes the tough part. Iâ€™d like to thank my family. The biggest fear in Caitlyn Jenner coming out was I never wanted to hurt anyone else. Most of all my family and my kids. I always wanted my children to be so proud of their dad because of what he has accomplished in his life. You guys have given so much back to me, youâ€™ve given me so much support, Iâ€™m so so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you.”
â€œAnd certainly last, but not least, my mother. My mom who, just a little over a week ago, had to have surgery and I didnâ€™t think she was going to make it, but she is here with me tonight to share this night. Now, you know I always thought that I got my courage and my determination from my dad. He landed on Omaha beach and fought all the way through World War 2. But you know what Iâ€™m realizing now, Mom, is that I got all those qualities form you. I love you very much. Iâ€™m so glad youâ€™re here to share this with me.”
â€œYou know, it is an honor to have the word courage associated with my life. But on this night another word comes to mind and that is fortunate. I owe a lot to sports. It showed me the world, it has given me an identity. If someone wanted to bully me, well, you know what? I was the MVP of the football team. That wasnâ€™t going to be a problem. And the same thing goes tonight. If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there who are coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldnâ€™t have to take it.”
â€œSo for the people out there wondering what this is all about â€” whether itâ€™s about courage or controversy or publicity â€” well, Iâ€™ll tell you what itâ€™s all about. Itâ€™s about what happens from here. Itâ€™s not just about one person, itâ€™s about thousands of people. Itâ€™s not just about me, itâ€™s about all of us accepting one another. We’re all different. Thatâ€™s not a bad thing, thatâ€™s a good thing and while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”
â€œThank you so much for this platform. Thank you so much for this honor bestowed on myself and my family. Thank you.â€
Image: Screenshot via ESPYS 2015/YouTube
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‘Scared to Death’: Trump’s Prison Panic Admission Means He Knows He’s Doomed Says Legal Expert
Reacting to a report that Donald Trump has been quizzing his attorneys about what type of prison he likely will be sent to, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner stated that is not only an indication that he knows he’s going to be convicted but also an admission of guilt.
Speaking with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart, the attorney was asked about a recent Rolling Stone report about Trump’s prison panic.
As Rolling Stone reported, Trump asked if he’s “be sent to a ‘club fed’ style prison — a place that’s relatively comfortable, as far these things go — or a ‘bad’ prison? Would he serve out a sentence in a plush home confinement? Would government officials try to strip him of his lifetime Secret Service protections? What would they make him wear, if his enemies actually did ever get him in a cell — an unprecedented set of consequences for a former leader of the free world.”
According to the attorney, Trump is revealing himself by asking for so many details.
“What does this tell you about Trump’s mindset?” host Capehart asked.
“It tells me he is scared to death” Kirschner quickly answered. “It tells me he has overwhelming consciousness of guilt because he knows what he did wrong and he knows he is about to be held accountable for his crimes. So it is not surprising that he is obsessing.”
“If he was confident that he would be completely exonerated, would he have to obsess about what his future time in prison might look like?” he suggested. “I think the last refuge for Donald Trump can be seen in a recent post where he urged the Republicans to defund essentially the prosecutions against him. which, to this prosecutor, Jonathan, smells a lot like an attempt to obstruct justice.”
Watch below or at the link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Vulgar and Lewd’: Trump Judge Cites Extremist Group to Allow Drag Show Ban
A federal judge in Texas known for a ruling that attempted to ban a widely-used abortion drug is citing an extremist anti-LGBTQ group in his ruling allowing a ban on drag shows to stay in place.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former attorney for an anti-LGBTQ conservative Christian legal organization, and a member of the Federalist Society, in his 26-page ruling dated Thursday cited the “About” page of Gays Against Groomers to claim, “it’s unclear how drag shows unmistakably communicate advocacy for LGBT rights.”
Judge Kacsmaryk, appointed by Donald Trump twice before finally assuming office in 2019, suggests the First Amendment does not provide for freedom of expression for drag shows, calls drag “sexualized conduct,” and says it is “more regulable” because “children are in the audience.”
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern adds, “Kacsmaryk’s conclusion that drag is probably NOT protected by the First Amendment conflicts with decisions from Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Montana which held that drag is constitutionally protected expression. It also bristles with undisguised hostility toward LGBTQ people.”
Calling the judge “a proud Christian nationalist who flatly refuses to apply binding Supreme Court precedent when it conflicts with his extremist far-right beliefs,” Stern at Slate writes that Kacsmaryk ruled drag “may be outlawed to protect ‘the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.’ In short, he concluded that drag fails to convey a message, while explaining all the reasons why he’s offended by the message it conveys.”
Stern does not let Kacsmaryk off the hook there.
“From almost any other judge, the ruling in Spectrum WT v. Wendler would be a shocking rejection of basic free speech principles; from Kacsmaryk, it’s par for the course. This is, after all, the judge who sought to ban medication abortion nationwide, restricted minors’ access to birth control, seize control over border policy to exclude asylum-seekers, and flouted recent precedent protecting LGBTQ+ equality,” Stern says.
“He is also poised to bankrupt Planned Parenthood by compelling them to pay a $1.8 billion penalty on truly ludicrous grounds. And he is not the only Trump-appointed judge substituting his reactionary beliefs for legal analysis. We have reached a point where these lawless decisions are not only predictable but inevitable, and they show no sign of stopping: Their authors are still just settling into a decadeslong service in the federal judiciary.”
West Texas A&M University President Walter V. Wendler penned the letter that sparked the lawsuit.
Titled, “A Harmless Drag Show? No Such Thing,” Wendler wrote: “I believe every human being is created in the image of God and, therefore, a person of dignity. Being created in God’s image is the basis of Natural Law. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, prisoners of the culture of their time as are we, declared the Creator’s origin as the foundational fiber in the fabric of our nation as they breathed life into it. Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not.”
Journalist Chris Geidner concludes, “It’s an extremely biased ruling by a judge who has established that he does not care about being overturned — even by the most conservative appeals court in the nation.”
Gaetz Praises GOP Congressman Who Echoes His Call for Change ‘Through Force’
U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). largely seen as pushing Speaker Kevin McCarthy‘s Republican-majority House of Representatives toward shutting down the federal government, is praising and promoting remarks made by a freshman GOP lawmaker that appear to suggest the use of violence. U.S. Rep. Eli Crane‘s comments, posted Friday (below), call for change “through force,” remarks echoing Congressman Gaetz’s recent comments which were denounced by an expert on authoritarianism as fascistic.
“The only way we’re going to see meaningful change in this town is through force,” wrote Congressman Crane, Republican of Arizona atop a three-minute video in which he frames what is now an almost guaranteed government shutdown as a “spending fight.” In his video he says, “the only way you’re gonna get any change in this town is through force.” Gaetz in August had said, “we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C.”
Congressman Crane is a former Navy SEAL. He has promoted the false “Big Lie” conspiracy theory that there was massive fraud in the election President Joe Biden won, and called “on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 election.” He is one of six House Republicans who voted against McCarthy’s speakership all 15 times in January.
“Congressman Eli Crane is a fountainhead of political courage,” said Rep. Gaetz Friday afternoon. “He holds the line.”
Crane recently came under fire for calling Black people “colored,” during debate on his legislation that would force the U.S. Armed Forces to not use any diversity requirements in its hiring practices.
Just days before he won his House seat last year, The Washington Post reported Crane had urged an “audience to look up an antisemitic sermon at a recent campaign stop.”
“Crane said that he was motivated to run because of ‘radical ideologies that are destroying this country’ and that he was most concerned about ‘Cultural Marxism,’ which the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as an antisemitic baseless claim gaining traction on the American right.”
“He encouraged the audience to watch a speech by a right-wing pastor who blamed cultural change on a group of German Jewish philosophers and condemned Barack Obama for having a ‘homosexual agenda.'”
“If we don’t wake up,” Crane said, according to the Post, “if we don’t study what they’re doing, and if we don’t put people in influential positions that understand what this war is all about, what they’re trying to do and have and have the courage to call it out, we’re going to lose this country.”
In August, while standing next to Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Congressman Gaetz said, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should.”
“But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”
At the time, Raw Story reported, “historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.”
“What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence,” she warned.
“And that’s how fascists talk,” Ben-Ghiat added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”
Image via Shutterstock
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