As many of you have probably heard, ESPN recently held their annual ESPY awards show where Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Now, while even I think the award should have gone to someone else, it’s undeniable that her speech was amazing. It was powerful, moving and she said a lot of things that really needed to be said about the struggles many transgender Americans face almost every day of their lives.
Naturally, there were plenty of critics who were quick to belittle and mock her for the fact that she was given this award. Because simply saying, “I think it should have gone to someone else” is apparently more difficult than spreading hatred for some people.
What I saw most were those using images of American troops who’ve lost limbs fighting in war to build their argument that Jenner doesn’t really have “courage.” It’s a completely ridiculous stance considering there are all sorts of ways someone can show they’re courageous. The standard-bearer of “courage” isn’t just limited to those who’ve literally sacrificed life and limb fighting for this country.
Well, it seems Army specialist Joey Vicente wasn’t too thrilled with people using soldiers to support their bigotry and opposition to Jenner in general. He took to Facebook to post an outstanding response to those who mocked and attacked her ESPY appearance:
Your negative opinions on Caitlyn Jenner and her deservedness of an award that you didn’t even know about until a few days ago are irrelevant.
Your definition of what or who a hero can or cannot be is irrelevant.
40% of the transgender community have attempted suicide. What if I told you that her speech last night saved even one human being from attempting to take their life. I’d call that a victory on any scale. I’d call that (gasp)… heroic?
You don’t like that a female who used to identify as male got an award at a ceremony run by ESPN? Here’s a hint: get over yourself. You are on the wrong side of history. Like many bigots of the civil rights era, you will one day have to answer for your hate, whether it is to your God, a loved one, or your few hundred Facebook friends that you think give the slightest bit of a shit about what kind of sandwich you ate or what kind of workout you got in today.
You want to voice your opinion? Please, I beg that you do. But in using terms like “freak” or “f*ggot” you paint a much more vivid picture of yourself than you ever could of Caitlyn Jenner, a human being just now finally finding her comfort zone.
People who feel the need to lash out ignorantly and hatefully toward others are nothing more than bottom-feeders looking for some sort of validation to their lives. The only way they know how to make themselves feel better is by trying to tear others down. All the hate and judgement they have inside of them is just an extension of their own insecurities within themselves.
While I’ll admit that I do agree with those who say Jenner shouldn’t have been given the award, I completely disagree with those who say she doesn’t have courage. It took some element of courage to stand on that stage knowing the ridicule and ignorance that would assuredly be thrown her way.