Watch Caitlyn Jenner’s Inspiring Speech at Glamour Women of the Year Awards
Caitlyn Jenner attended the 2015 Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City last night (November 9), where the publication recognized her continued efforts in bringing visibility and awareness to transgender issues.
Caitlyn delivered an emotional speech about her ongoing journey, confessing that the lengthy time before her transition was incredibly lonely. She said, “My transition was very, very long. I had many, many, many years of isolation from the world, of lying to the world, of not being myself. I got to a few years ago, I was back out in Malibu in my home, all alone. I raised wonderful children. And I thought: ‘What am I gonna do with my life?’ I isolated myself and lied to myself and lied to the world for so long: ‘What am I gonna do with my life?’”
After being ripped apart by the tabloids, Caitlyn made the decision to be completely open with her sons and daughters: "I sat down with each one of my 10 children, and it was the big secret in the family that nobody could talk about because I was getting destroyed in the tabloids every week, walking through the grocery line, looking at the headlines. And so were my children. It was hurtful. So I sat each one of 'em down, and I said, 'This is my story. This is who I am. What can I do?’”
She maintains that her family has remained supportive of her: "I am so blessed I have family. And not one of them has abandoned me. They've all been support of me. It's incredible.”
Caitlyn also noted that the conversation around her in the media shifted tonally once she came out publicly as trans. She said, "Boy, oh boy, did the conversation change. No longer [was] the media saying terrible things about you, because they would be homophobic. All of a sudden, everybody became comfortable...All of a sudden, all these new questions came into my life. People were going, 'What's your style? What are you gonna wear? Who are your heroes? Are you a feminist?' All these questions, and I said, 'Oh my gosh, I've got so much to learn.'”
Caitlyn continued, saying that her coming out finally enabled her to start living her life again: "...All of a sudden after making this decision and coming out, it was by far the best thing I ever did. Because for so many years I lost my enthusiasm for life, literally staying in my house for almost six years. Because I never really wanted to come out, just to go work, that was about it. Now, actually, I like going out, and I like being myself. And in doing that, it's been amazing the opportunity we have for change, for people to understand this issue because it's so difficult."
The former Olympian also revealed that she’s been unable to fly for over a year, because of difficulties regarding her ID: "I haven't been on the airlines in over a year because I didn't have authentic I.D. And finally last week, I got my driver's license. Picture and gender marker 'F.' So it's always the little things in life that really you notice. And I'm sitting on the plane, and for the first time reading Glamour magazine and not having to fold the cover over so nobody could see what actually I was reading. And I had that thing open beautifully and just reading through Glamour magazine was absolutely great."
Watch Caitlyn's full speech in the video above.