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A Man Returned His Wife's "Woman Of The Year" Award After Caitlyn Jenner Received One

"I find it insulting to Moira Smith's memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award," he wrote.

Originally posted on
Updated on

A man whose NYPD officer wife was killed on 9/11 has returned her posthumous "Woman Of The Year" Award from Glamour magazine after the publication gave the same award to Caitlyn Jenner.

James Smith, also an NYPD officer, wrote an open letter to the magazine in a now-deleted Facebook post. His wife, Moira Smith, died while rescuing people from the Twin Towers on Sept. 11. The 38-year-old was the only female NYPD officer killed.

In the letter, Smith wrote that he was "shocked and saddened" that Glamour gave the same award to Jenner, a former Olympian who publicly transitioned.

"I find it insulting to Moira Smith's memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award," he wrote.

"I can only guess that this was a publicity stunt meant to resuscitate a dying medium," he finished. "After discussing this slap in the face to the memory of our Hero with my family, I have decided to return Moira's award to Glamour magazine."

Notably, Jenner is not the first transgender woman to be honored at the ceremony, where she received the Transgender Champion award — Laverne Cox was also awarded in 2014.

Many of the commenters on Smith's post supported his letter.

In a statement, Glamour told BuzzFeed News they stand by their decision to give Jenner the award.

Glamour was proud to honor Police Officer Moira Smith in 2001 and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner among our class of winners in 2015. Caitlyn Jenner has helped shine a light on the problems faced by transgender youth and given voice to a community that is often unheard. Glamour's Women of the Year Awards recognizes brave, bold women who in their individual ways have all made a significant difference in the world."

Update

James Smith explained to BuzzFeed News the motive behind his letter, saying that he thinks Jenner "trivialized the transgender experience" as he had witnessed it while helping transgender youth in New York City.

As a police officer in NYC, my precinct covered a shelter for transgendered youth. On several occasions I responded there to take reports or give aid to suicidal youths. I listened to their stories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Young people thrown out of their houses or fleeing from unlivable conditions. They didn't have the luxury of being part of the Kardashian circus. They weren't living in a Malibu Barbie beach house surrounded by what passes for family in Hollywood. They were truly brave people fighting hourly for existence. When Mr. Jenner said the hardest part about being a woman was figuring out what to wear, he proved to me that he is not truly a woman, and had not earned the right to call himself one. He trivialized the transgender experience as I had witnessed it, and he insulted women in general. Glamour honored Laverne Cox last year, and it was a good choice which I applaud. Contrast her story to Jenner's. I truly believe Jenner's award was a publicity stunt and cheapens a once prestigious award.

A spokesperson for Caitlyn Jenner declined to comment.

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