Los Angeles: Caitlyn Jenner gave an inspiring speech while accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for going public with her gender transformation journey.
The decision to give the award to the 65-year-old former Olympian had met with controversy but Jenner said as a sportsperson she learnt to take criticism in her stride but appealed to people to be more kind towards "transgenders", reported Deadline.
"It is an honour to have the word 'courage' associated with my life, but this night another word comes to mind, 'fortunate,'" Caitlyn said at the ESPY Awards.
Caitlyn, who was known as Bruce Jenner before her gender transition, teared up as she called on people to accept differences.
"If you want to call me names, doubt my intention, the reality is, I can take it. But for thousands of kids out there coming to term with who they are, they shouldn't have to take it... So for the people out there wondering what this is all about, whether it's about courage or controversy or publicity, I'll tell you what it's all about.
"It's about what happens from here. It's not about one person, it's about thousands of people. It's not just about me. It's about all of us accepting one another. We're all different and that's not a bad thing ? it's a good thing," Caitlyn said.
NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas was among those who had suggested others are more deserving of the award and that giving it to Jenner is "just a crass exploitation play, a tabloid play."