Caitlyn Jenner Worried About “Voice Issue” at ESPYS: “Don’t Listen to the Pitch, But to What I Have to Say”

Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the 2015 ESPYS
Caitlyn Jenner was worried about her "voice issue" at the 2015 ESPYS. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Caitlyn Jenner looked and felt amazing at the 2015 ESPYS — her first major appearance since revealing her new identity on the cover of Vanity Fair — but as the former Olympian reasoned, it took a giant leap of faith for her to get up on that stage. “What a week. Let me just start by saying, I’m so happy it’s over! What a relief,” Jenner, 65, blogged in her weekly WhoSay editorial series on July 20, five days after accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYS.

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Once the biggest hurdle (what to wear!) was taken care of by Donatella Versace, Jenner had to tackle her emotional acceptance speech in front of fans, friends, family, and viewers worldwide. “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 blogged.

caitlyn and abby
Soccer pro Abby Wambach presented Caitlyn Jenner with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2015 ESPYS. Courtesy of Caitlyn Jenner

“I’m better off getting up there knowing what I’m going to say and doing it. But at the ESPYS, I really had to stick to the prompter because I only had a certain number of minutes to make it right, to get my points across. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced, and practiced to make sure I’d nail it.”

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Though she eloquently spoke about the importance of raising awareness of the violence transgender youth face and the need for acceptance, Jenner admitted that she had trouble watching her speech back. Not because she was worried about how her dress looked on TV, but rather how her voice would be perceived.

“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. That bothers me a little bit,” said Jenner, who underwent facial feminization surgery in March 2015. “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.”

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Those closest to Jenner say she knocked it out of the park — and her voice was heard. “I think it was amazing and very brave,” Jenner’s ex-wife Kris told Us during Thursday, July 16’s Amazon Summer Soiree at Los Angeles’ Sunset Tower. “I think she looked beautiful.”

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