Cleveland's LGBT community celebrates Caitlyn's courage - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland's LGBT community celebrates Caitlyn's courage

Transgender community celebrate's Caitlyn Jenner (Source: WOIO) Transgender community celebrate's Caitlyn Jenner (Source: WOIO)

Caitlyn Jenner delivered a powerful message Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards.

"Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect," Jenner said. "From that respect comes a more compassionate community, a more empathetic society, and a better world for all of us."

Phyllis Harris is the Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. She and millions of others watched Jenner's acceptance speech for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

"Overall, it was great for the visibility of trans individuals. I think that there were some key messages," said Harris.

"We're all different. That's not a bad thing, that's a good thing and while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don't understand. I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together," Jenner said.

Harris says Caitlyn's message of acceptance for all is key to educating others about the trans community and the challenges transgender women and men may face.

"The call to have an understanding that while she was a very public figure there are many other people who are trans who struggle, and some of their struggle had to do with family rejection or lack of employment and that type of thing," says Harris.

Harris says Caitlyn's award is well deserved, but she says others who live into their full selves and proclaim 'this is who I am' should also be honored.

The LGBT Community Center offers group discussions a couple times a month for trans people.

CLICK HERE for more information Ohio's transgender community.

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