Fans were hanging on Caitlyn Jenner’s every word on Wednesday night (July 15) as she delivered a powerful speech at the ESPY awards, accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage honour, but her smooth and moving delivery came with a lot of nerves behind the scenes.
Writing on her official website, Caitlyn revealed that she was a dyslexic child so reading her speech off the teleprompter was “a whole other story”.
“As a dyslexic kid, my biggest fear in life was to go in front of the class and read because I just wasn’t very good at it – and that stays with you through your whole life,” she wrote, adding that she “practiced, and practiced, and practiced and practiced” to make sure she didn’t make any mistakes.
Caitlyn also said one of the most difficult parts of the evening was seeing her family sitting in the audience. Children Burt, Brandon, Brody, Cassandra, Kendall and Kylie Jenner were all present, as were Caitlyn’s step-daughters Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian and her mother Esther Jenner.
“The toughest part in my speech was my kids,” Caitlyn explained. “It was hard to look over there and see all of my children. As I said in the speech, I don’t want to hurt anybody. I just want to be myself. I barely got through that.”
The 65-year-old shared a photo of herself alongside her family backstage, standing out in her stunning cream Versace gown while her children all wore black.
Caitlyn explained described having the dress custom made for her by Donatella Versace as “every fantasy of my life come true”.
“Getting glamorous for the ESPYs was a big process to go through, but it was amazing and so much fun,” Caitlyn enthused, telling readers: “I wanted to feel good. I wanted to feel pretty. I wanted to be myself.”
However there is one element of her speech that Caitlyn was not happy with when she watched it back later on.
“While I felt like I looked great and that the gown looked fabulous, I still have a voice issue. It’s not quite right compared to my feminine appearance,” she explained. “That bothers me a little bit. However, I hope that people don’t listen to the pitch of my voice, but listen to what I have to say.That’s important to me.”
It appears Caitlyn’s wish has been granted; the former Olympian has gained praise from friends, family and fans alike with ex-wife Kris Jenner speaking out to say that she thought Caitlyn’s speech was “amazing and very brave”.
Caitlyn has also formed friendships with fellow high profile transgender stars including Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox, who joined Caitlyn for a screening of her upcoming docu-series I Am Cait on Sunday.