The Arthur Ashe Courage Award Goes To…Caitlyn Jenner?

If you are like me and keep up with the Kardashians, or if you are anyone other than a hermit who has been living under a rock, you have heard the news- Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner is now officially Ms. Caitlyn Jenner. I have to say, if every major news source was not turning this into the current event of the year, I probably would not even be mentioning it right now. I have always stayed true to my belief that people can do whatever they want, so long as it does not hurt or impede on the rights of others. If Caitlyn did not feel like her true self as Bruce, and she had the money and resources to help her become happier and more content with her appearance, it’s her choice and really no one else’s business. It’s really that simple.

Yes, because I am all for people doing what makes them feel fulfilled and happy and be their best selves, I am happy for Caitlyn Jenner and support her decision. But that’s really all I have to say about her personal decision, because that’s all it was- her personal decision. It is not any more deserving of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award than anyone else who has plastic surgery to feel more confident in their skin. Although it surely requires a great deal of bravery to do something so drastic while in the public limelight, and I am sure it inspires others to be their true selves as well, my personal ideas of people who truly exemplify bravery and courage above and beyond the norm are the other nominees who most people have unfortunately never even heard of. 

Those giving the award have somehow overlooked Lauren Hill, who battled cancer while courageously playing the sport she loved until the end of her beautiful time on this earth. The way she lived her life has and will continue to inspire others to never stop living your life. Noah Galloway, a true hero who put his life on the line everyday so that we could live safely in America, was also overlooked. While fighting for our freedom, the same freedom that allowed Caitlyn and many others to make physical changes to their bodies, Noah lost his left arm and leg but through adversity he continues to courageously compete and fight every day of his life. They even managed to look past Jim Kelly. As an athlete, he was already a hero to many, and when cancer came knocking on his door he punched it right in the face. Jim showed people that it’s okay to be scared but it’s not okay to give up the fight; if that’s not true courage then I don’t know what is. 

It is scary to think that we now live in a society that makes their decisions based on what is trending instead of what is right. If they wanted to give Bruce Jenner an award for his sports-related accomplishments, it would be an entirely different story because he truly was an exceptional athlete, but to call him a hero and courageous for having plastic surgery and wearing women’s clothing simply because he is not happy with the way he looks is definitely not what the Arthur Ashe Courage Award is all about. Or so, I thought. 

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