Husband of 9/11 Hero Returns Glamour Women of the Year Award After Caitlyn Jenner Honor
"I find it insulting to Moira Smith's memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award," James Smith wrote in an open letter to Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive posted on his Facebook page. "Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?"
Last week, Glamour magazine handed out its annual Women of the Year awards to honorees like five female survivors of the Charleston church shooting, Misty Copeland, the U.S. women's national soccer team, Reese Witherspoon and Caitlyn Jenner.
The magazine has been celebrating female leaders through its Women of the Year Awards for 25 years, and in 2001 it honored Moira Smith, an NYPD officer who died while rescuing people from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
But more than 14 years after his wife's honor, Smith's husband, James, says he's returning her award because of the magazine's choice to honor Jenner.
In an open letter to Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive posted on his Facebook page, James Smith refers to Jenner by her former name of "Bruce" and former gender, calling her a "man."
"I find it insulting to Moira Smith's memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award," James Smith wrote in his post. "Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man? At a time when we have women in the armed forces fighting and dying for our country, heroic doctors fighting deadly diseases, women police officers and firefighters putting their lives on the line for total strangers, brave women overcoming life threatening diseases ... the list of possibilities goes on ... is this the best you could do?"
He goes on to suggest that Jenner's honor was "a publicity stunt meant to resuscitate a dying medium" and calls it a "slap in the face to the memory of our Hero."
Jenner is not the first transgender woman to be honored by Glamour, with Laverne Cox being named as one of its Women of the Year in 2014.
In receiving her award, Jenner indicated that she felt like she had been accepted after her Vanity Fair cover introduced her new identity to the world.
"Boy did the conversation change! No longer can the media say bad things about you because then they'd be homophobic," Jenner said. She also acknowledged her "great opportunity" to "make a difference in the world."
James Smith's Facebook post was published on Thursday morning and was still public as of 1:20 p.m. ET, when it had received 74 likes and 499 shares. Shortly thereafter, though, the post was no longer publicly available. It can still be seen in reports like this one from Buzzfeed.
In response to James Smith's letter, a Glamour spokeswoman released the following statement: "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."