After months of mental, emotional and physical preparation, multiple days of primping, and even hiring Angelina Jolie’s stylist, Jen Rade to dress her— Caitlyn Jenner stepped out in all her statuesque glory on July 15, where she accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards.
The 6’2” former Olympian positively stunned in an ivory floor-length figure flaunting Atelier Versace dress, with her hair swept to one side. Her moment lived up to all the anticipation surrounding it, and the 65-year-old beauty had tears in her eyes as she walked onstage, bravely opening with a joke about how exhausting it was getting ready for this event, and that she’s never felt more pressure in her whole life than she felt picking out her outfit for it. “OK girls, I get it!”, she admitted, and begged the fashion police to “please be kind.”
Nine of Caitlyn’s 10 children were in the audience, and they all supported her backstage earlier in the evening as well. Khloé Kardashian held Kylie Jenner’s hand throughout the entire speech, and they all either cried or had tears in their eyes. Caitlyn’s voice shook and her eyes welled up and overflowed, as she professed her love and gratitude to all of them, as well as to her mother, who recently underwent surgery, but still made it for her big night.
She also gave special thanks to Diane Sawyer for telling her story so “authentically” and “gracefully”, and for being her friend. It was a very emotional night that only step-son Rob Kardashian missed, although that particular no show was expected, as he was last seen out of the house for a burger run for the first time in months, as Star reported in June. Check out the videos below of Brody Jenner, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner arriving on the red carpet to support their dad.
The newly transitioned stunner made it clear that she now has a mission—to support, represent and be the voice for transgender people— to “reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed… how trans people are treated” and to promote one simple idea “accepting people for who they are.” She also spoke about how important sports have been in her life, and how important they still are to her, and she went on to specifically address the criticism of all the naysayers and skeptics of her motives, proudly declaring, “The reality is, I can take it.”
Caitlyn’s memorable and history making Vanity Fair cover last month, as well as previews of her upcoming reality show I Am Cait, initially introduced us to Caitlyn. Her many appearances around town in New York City and Los Angeles as Caitlyn, have already provided us countless sightings of what she looks like, but this—the biggest reveal of her ‘true self’ laid bare for the world to see, and 65 years overdue—looked as though it was certainly Caitlyn’s finest hour.
Watch Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech right here on Star: