Widower of 9/11 cop returns Glamour award over Caitlyn Jenner

Story highlights

  • Glamour award winner and police officer Moira Smith died rescuing people on 9/11
  • Jenner, who is transgender, was one of several honorees this year
  • Smith's widower says he supports 2014 transgender award winner Laverne Cox

(CNN)The husband of a police officer who died on 9/11 has returned her Glamour "Woman of the Year" award because the magazine honored Caitlyn Jenner with the same award last week.

Moira Smith was one of 23 New York City Police Department officers to die in the September 11, 2001, attacks and the only female NYPD officer to die that day. She was seen in the time before her death rescuing people from the World Trade Center towers.
Glamour named her a "Woman of the Year" in 2001, shortly after her death. Her husband, James Smith, accepted on her behalf.
    Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner transitioned to Caitlyn Jenner over the past year in the spotlight of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" reality television show.
    New York Police Officer Moira Smith died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
    It's not that Glamour honored a transgender person, James Smith told CNN. He supported Glamour's decision to honor actress Laverne Cox in 2014.
    As a New York City police officer, "my precinct covered a shelter for transgendered youth," Smith said via email. "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 homes or fleeing from unlivable conditions.
    "They didn't have the luxury of being part of the Kardashian circus," Smith wrote. "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 (in a recent BuzzFeed interview), he proved to me that he is not truly a woman. I believe this comment and others he has made trivializes the transgender experience as I have witnessed it."
    Jenner was one of several 2015 winners honored at Glamour's 25th annual awards ceremony on November 9. Others included five survivors or relatives of victims of the Charleston church shootings, ballerina Misty Copeland, actress Reese Witherspoon and the U.S. women's national soccer team.
    Glamour stood by the magazine's choices.
    "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," a spokeswoman for the magazine wrote in an email.
    "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."
    At the awards ceremony, Jenner said she was isolated for many years, lying to the world and not living as herself, according to the New York Daily News.
    "Maybe this is why God put me on this Earth — to tell my story," Jenner said at the ceremony. "To be authentic to myself, to who I am. ... And maybe in doing that, maybe you can make a difference in the world."