A U.S. Army soldier has come to Caitlyn Jenner’s defense after reading angry remarks from people who don’t think she is a hero.
Moments after Jenner delivered a powerful speech while being awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, the Internet reacted with thousands of messages in support of her courage to speak out for all the countless teens struggling with being transgender.
There were also thousands more who felt Jenner did not deserve the award, spotlight or the title ‘Hero’. One of the most famous protesters was Lone Survivor director Peter Berg, who posted a transphobic photo about the Olympian to Instagram:
23-year-old soldier Joey Vicente shared his own thoughts on Facebook in a poignant message for Jenner’s vocal protestors.
“Your definition of what or who a hero can or cannot be is irrelevant,” Vicente writes. “What if I told you that her speech last night saved even one human being from attempting to take their life. I’d call that a victory on any scale.”
“40% of the transgender community have attempted suicide. What if I told you that her speech last night saved even one human being from attempting to take their life. I’d call that a victory on any scale,” he continued. “I’d call that (gasp)… heroic?”
“You don’t like that a female who used to identify as male got an award at a ceremony run by ESPN? Here’s a hint: get over yourself. 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.”
Vicente later told Buzzfeed News, “Bigotry in any form is unacceptable, and I guess I was just fed up with seeing people’s offensive remarks about a person they know nothing about.”
“I posted what I posted because it’s what I feel,” he added. “I joined the service and picked my job because I love helping people. I love positivity and I love my country.”
Watch Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPYs speech below: