Caitlyn Jenner to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs

Tonight, Olympic gold medalist and transgender reality television star Caitlyn Jenner will be honored at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, presented by ESPN. Jenner will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, named for the late professional tennis player and AIDS activist. The award recognizes individuals whose actions transcend sports, and previous LGBT-identified recipients of the award include Billie Jean King, Mark Bingham, Robin Roberts, and Michael Sam. Out soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Abby Wambach, will present the award to Jenner.

Commenting on Jenner's selection for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, ESPN writer and GLAAD Board Member, Christina Kahrl, wrote, "The importance of an award such as this is not limited to the recipient or those giving it, it also serves a purpose as a message to the audience. For trans people, giving this award to Jenner is perhaps less about pride in her career as an athlete and more about her recognition by a society that is at long last coming to terms that trans people exist, and that we, too, are capable of great things given equal opportunity."

"As an Olympic gold medalist, Caitlyn Jenner continues to be a champion for millions, helping people around the world understand more about what it means to be transgender and serving as an inspiration to countless young trans people who may be struggling to just be who they are," said GLAAD President & CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. "This award recognizes and celebrates the tremendous courage it took for Caitlyn to share her story."

GLAAD's Director of Programs for Transgender Media, Nick Adams, said, "It takes tremendous courage for any transgender person to live as his or her authentic self when there is so much discrimination and violence aimed at transgender people. Caitlyn Jenner had to transition in the face of unimaginable public scrutiny, and in doing so has helped people around the world understand more about what it means to be transgender. This award recognizes her courageous act, and acknowledges that transgender people can also be celebrated as heroes."

The EPSYs will air tonight, July 15, at 8pm/ET on ABC.