Last night, Caitlyn Jenner was honored at Glamour magazine’s 25th Women of the Year Awards for her work as a trans advocate. But while Jenner has done so much to help millions understand what it means to be trans and give those questioning their gender someone to look up to, there are things we all can learn from her. We highlight three lessons from her acceptance speech here:
1. A difficulty is an opportunity. Jenner spoke of how she struggled with her identity for decades. Sometimes the struggle was so much that it was overwhelming. She told the crowd packed at Carnegie Hall that there were years when she didn’t like leaving her house at all. But by not hiding anymore and living as her authentic self, she has put a human face on a complicated issue. Her life is now flooded with opportunities to encourage at-risk trans and gender nonconforming youth, ultimately hoping to lower the staggeringly high suicide rate within the trans and LGBT community. Facing a hard time in your own life — whatever that may be — provides you the opportunity to help others down the road.
2. Educate others as you educate yourself. Jenner didn’t know much about being a woman, or about being trans, when she started her journey. In her acceptance speech, she says she’s educating people as she educates herself. Don’t wait until you are an expert on something to start making change.
3. One person can spark real change.Our society was not having a conversation about sexuality and gender on such a big way before Caitlyn Jenner as we are now. It only takes one person to get everyone else talking.
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