Reality TV and transgender celebrity Caitlyn Jenner shared an inspirational message on the Fourth of July. On America's 239th birthday, Jenner took to Instagram to show her appreciation for the country that has allowed her to come out and live as her true self.
“Happy 4th of July! Proud to be an American ... where at least I am free to be me,” Caitlyn wrote as she shared a photo of the American flag, which was seen framed on a wall in the post.
Apart from honoring her country as a free and independent transgender woman, Jenner once made her country proud by becoming one of its most celebrated Olympic athletes. In 1976, Jenner -- known then as Bruce Jenner -- won a gold medal in the decathlon during the Summer Olympics in Montreal. The win was a big symbolic victory because it came at the expense of Soviet athletes who had been dominating the sport amid Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union.
Long considered an American hero, Jenner is continuing to inspire her fellow Americans. After retiring from sports, Jenner became a sought-after motivational public speaker. She was returned to the spotlight when her family launched the reality show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” in 2007.
This year, Jenner made a big splash by announcing that she was transgender and intended to fully transition and live as a woman. After giving a lengthy interview to ABC about her transition and participating in a two-part special on E!, Jenner has been making waves in the LGBT community. She graced New York City's gay pride festivities in late June, to roaring approval from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Jenner has not only embraced her freedom to live in the manner she chooses, she is also helping others do the same. Due to her efforts, ESPN has named her the 2015 recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the annual ESPY Awards, which will air July 15. Jenner also will launch a documentary series titled “I Am Cait.” The show is meant to be educational and inspirational to other transgenders and their families who are dealing with the same situation. The show will premiere at 8 p.m. EDT July 26 on E!