This U.S. Soldier’s Epic Defense of Caitlyn Jenner Deserves a Standing Ovation
Earlier this week, Caitlyn Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards, giving a moving account of the bigotry she faces as a trans woman in the public sphere.
But transphobic critics took the opportunity to trash Jenner's acceptance of the award with a tired right-wing trope: Why is Jenner being honored for bravery instead of our troops? (This particularly lazy argument has popped up everywhere from Internet memes to journalist Dave Weigel's Twitter feed.)
Joey Vicente, a 23-year-old behavior health specialist in the U.S. Army, was one of many who took to Facebook to respond to these insults. He wrote this amazing response, pointing out that Jenner's bravery was not diminished by the bravery of others — and that Jenner's courage was precisely in standing up to people like the haters.
"Here's a hint: get over yourself," Vicente wrote. "You are on the wrong side of history. Like many bigots of the civil rights era, you will one day have to answer for your hate, whether it is to your God, a loved one, or your few hundred Facebook friends that you think give the slightest bit of a sh*t about what kind of sandwich you ate or what kind of workout you got in today."
"... in using terms like "freak" or "faggot" you paint a much more vivid picture of yourself than you ever could of Caitlyn Jenner, a human being just now finally finding her comfort zone," Vicente concluded.
Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified journalist Dave Weigel as conservative.