Caitlyn Jenner addressed the crowd at the 2015 ESPY Awards and implored viewers to help improve the lives of transgender people.
Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the annual ceremony on Wednesday, where she said that young transgender people shouldn’t be bullied for their differences.
“This transition has been harder on me than anything I could have imagined,” she said. “Trans people deserve something vital — they deserve your respect.”
“It’s not just about one person — it’s about thousands of people,” Jenner continued from the podium. “It’s about all of us accepting one another. We’re all different — it’s not a bad thing.”
Jenner acknowledged the importance of athletics in making her who she. “I also want to acknowledge all the young trans athletes out there, getting to play sports as they truly are,” she continued.
“I’d like to thank my family,” Jenner said. “I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all my family and my kids. … I am so, so grateful to have all of you in my life.”
Jenner, who thanked her “buddy” Diane Sawyer, called it a “great idea” that trans people will get to serve in the military.
Prior to Jenner receiving the award, a Google ad aired on ESPN that focused on a transgender gym member.
Jenner’s upcoming E! series, I Am Cait, premieres July 26.