Navigation

This is a debugging block

Support Navigation

This is a debugging block

Sub-Navigation

This is a debugging block

GLAAD Social Media

This is a debugging block

connect with glaad

Trans sports writer and GLAAD Board Member Christina Kahrl responds to Grantland.com story on Dr. V.

Content

This is a debugging block

Today sports blog Grantland.com published two responses to last week's disturbing story by Caleb Hannan titled "Dr. V's Magical Putter."

The first article, by the site's founder and editor-in-chief Bill Simmons describes the editorial process that led to the story being published in the first place. He also apologizes for several aspects of the story, including not consulting with anyone from the transgender community during the discussions about whether or not to publish the story.

The second piece is by GLAAD Board Member Christina Kahrl - who is also an employee at ESPN. Kahrl, an out trans woman is also an advocate for transgender equality in both her home state of Illinois and on a national level. In addition to GLAAD's Board of Directors, she is also active on the boards or advisory boards of Equality Illinois, the Trans Life Center, the You Can Play Project, and the Lakeview Action Coalition.

In her essay, "What Grantland Got Wrong," Kahrl writes, "By any professional or ethical standard, [Dr. V's status as a transgender person] wasn't merely irrelevant to the story, it wasn't [Caleb Hannan's] information to share. Like gays or lesbians — or anyone else, for that matter — trans folk get to determine for themselves what they're willing to divulge about their sexuality and gender identity. As in, it's not your business unless or until the person tells you it is, and if it's not germane to your story, you can safely forgo using it."

Later in the piece Kahrl continues, "It was not Grantland's job to out Essay Anne Vanderbilt, but it was done, carelessly. Not simply with the story's posthumous publication; that kind of casual cruelty is weekly fare visited upon transgender murder victims in newspapers across the country. No, what Hannan apparently did was worse: Upon making the unavoidable discovery that Vanderbilt's background didn't stand up to scrutiny, he didn't reassure her that her gender identity wasn't germane to the broader problems he'd uncovered with her story. Rather, he provided this tidbit to one of the investors in her company in a gratuitous 'gotcha' moment that reflects how little thought he'd given the matter. Maybe it was relevant for him to inform the investor that she wasn't a physicist and probably didn't work on the stealth bomber and probably also wasn't a Vanderbilt cut from the same cloth as the original Commodore. But revealing her gender identity was ultimately as dangerous as it was thoughtless."

GLAAD has reached out to ESPN, as Grantland.com is affiliated with ESPN Internet Ventures, to discuss further steps that can be taken to ensure that coverage of transgender issues in sports are handled with more respect in the future.

Issues: 

Related Stories

Highlight First

This is a debugging block

 

Featured Story

At the close of the 2014 World Cup, GLAAD was joined by over 25 U.S. and international LGBT and human rights organizations today in a letter to FIFA requesting concrete action to address homophobia in the game and anti-gay chants yelled in the stands.