LOS ANGELES – Caitlyn Jenner accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards.
This was her first major public appearance since she underwent facial feminization surgery.
Jenner thanked her mother, children and friend Diane Sawyer for helping her transition, according to ABC News.
“This transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine,” she said, adding that “trans people … deserve your respect.”
“It’s about all of us accepting one another,” she said.
The ESPYs award was presented to Jenner by the famed soccer player Abby Wambach who is, like Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist.
Jenner, formerly Bruce, spoke about being transgender for the first time in an interview with Sawyer that was televised in late April.
In early June, she shared the new name she had chosen — Caitlyn — and appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.
The Arthur Ashe Courage Award has been presented every year since the sports-related ESPYs were established in 1993.
Recent recipients have included football player Michael Sam, “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts, and longtime University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.