While the awarding of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner at this year's ESPYs had an impact on millions, for one woman in particular it was particularly meaningful.
Courtney Pollack started working at ESPN in 2003, and a year later she began a gender transition from male to female. According to ESPN, she was the first person to make that transition on the job.
Eleven years later, ESPN president John Skipper made Pollack and her two kids his personal guests at the ESPYs. ESPN has long been ahead of the sports-media curve on LGBT issues, and again Skipper demonstrated the company's commitment to inclusion with the invitation to his ground-breaking employee.
Read Caitlyn Jenner's powerful ESPYs speech
"All across the world, ... there are young people coming to terms with being transgender."
The most anticipated moment of the show began as soccer star Abby Wambach introduced Caitlyn Jenner as the 2015 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. A beautiful video package was played highlighting the life of Ms. Jenner's Olyimpic fame, and her struggles with gender identity. She graciously accepted the award which was followed by a very powerful and moving acceptance speech. With tears in my eyes, my children's hands clenched in mine, I realized that on this very night, the transgender community had finally arrived!
The show was over, yet the night was just getting started!
With my kids in tow, my ESPN colleagues Sara Johnson (with her brother), Christina Kahrl (alongside her wife) and I were escorted to a private reception where we would join Caitlyn with her family and friends to celebrate her special night. We met Caitlyn, and shared food and drinks, accompanied by wonderful conversation with her and other guests. This was absolutely a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.
One of the pieces that's been most impressive about Jenner has been her seemingly complete embrace of the trans community. She's brand-spanking-new to it and has drawn trans people into her life with open arms. If only all LGBT athletes did the same this world would be such a different place.