Caitlyn Jenner offered a heartfelt and emotional speech on 15 July at the 2015 ESPY awards.

The former athlete and reality TV star received a standing ovation after being honoured with the Arthur Ashe award for courage.

"Well the real truth is that before just a few months ago I had never met anybody else who was trans, who was like me," said Jenner, while on stage to receive the award. "I had never met a trans person, never. Now, as you just saw, I dealt with my situation on my own, in private and that turned this journey into an already incredible education. It's been eye opening, inspiring but also frightening. All across this country right now, all across the world at this very moment, there are young people coming to terms with being transgender. They're learning that they're different and they're trying to figure out how to handle that."

Jenner, who earned a Gold medal for a record-breaking win in the decathlon at the 1976 Olympic games, said she's dedicated to helping raise awareness regarding challenges in the transgender community.

"I know I'm clear in my responsibility in going forward," said Jenner. "To tell my story the right way, for me, to keep learning. To do whatever I can to reshape the landscape of how trans issues are viewed, how trans people are treated and then, more broadly, to promote a very simple idea. Accepting people for who they are, accepting people differently."

The 65 year old star became emotional while thanking her family for their support.

"Here comes the tough part," said Jenner. "I'd like to thank my family. Now, the biggest fear I've always had in coming out is, I never wanted to hurt anyone else, most of all, my family and my kids. I always wanted my children to be so proud of their dad for what he was bale to accomplish in his life. You guys have given so much back to me, you've given me so much support, I am so, so grateful to have all of you in my life. Thank you."

The former Olympian is one of the most high-profile Americans to identify as transgender, having made the announcement in an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer in April.