Tag Archives: sports

Book Review – Second Serve, by Renée Richards

Richards_2
A figure who was once the champion of transgender rights and transgender women in sports, who lately has been a controversial voice who is speaking out against transgender women in sports, Renée Richards is definitely a fascinating character. This autobiography explores her life up to the early 1980’s, and details her very troubled childhood and lengthy journey to find herself – a self which even after she found it, she altered repeatedly.

A full review of the book, as well as some additional photographs, may be found at the link below.

Second Serve, by Renée Richards

Boxing Legend Frank Maloney Reveals New Life as a Woman

I confess I do not follow boxing at all – I don’t even know when boxing season starts, although I’m somewhat aware of events which occur the day after Christmas…

(just kidding)

In any event, this story is making significant headlines in the same general martial arts circles which have also followed Fallon Fox and Parinya Charoenphol. At age 61 Kellie Maloney has come late into the sisterhood, but she knew since she was very young that she was transgender.

She told the Sunday Mirror: “I was born in the wrong body and I have always known I was a woman. I can’t keep living in the shadows, that is why I am doing what I am today. Living with the burden any longer would have killed me.

“What was wrong at birth is now being medically corrected. I have a female brain. I knew I was different from the minute I could compare myself to other children. I wasn’t in the right body. I was jealous of girls.”

Kellie Maloney stands out as continued proof that we are all real, we all have suffered, and we all have to put our lives on the line at some point if we are to finish our journeys.

Boxing legend Frank Maloney reveals new life as a woman | Sport | The Guardian.

Transgender Athlete Sues CrossFit for Banning her from Female Contest

This is silly, ignorant, and discriminatory. I wish I could be that kind about 95% of the 1,543 comments on the article, which are transphobic, hateful, scientifically illiterate and ignorant, and in some cases scary.

Ms. Jonnson would easily qualify under even the IOC’s rules, and she’s suing in California, which from my research has plenty of precedent for anti-trans discrimination in this and other cases. I’m fairly confident she will win her suit; the real question is how much money will she make off of it, and will it have a lasting impact?

Transgender athlete sues CrossFit for banning her from female contest – CNN.com.

BREAKING: Calif. Trans Student Law Survives Repeal Effort

There’s not much I can add to the original article, but I wanted to highlight it since Transas City is read by many who don’t read news sites daily. In short, the repeal effort which was driven by the those opposed to transgender mainstreaming and integration in schools has failed, and transgender kids in California will be safer (for now) than they ever have been.

BREAKING: Calif. Trans Student Law Survives Repeal Effort | Advocate.com.

Exclusive to Transas City – Part 3 of Our Series on Transgender and Intersex Persons in Sport

Mianne Bagger
Part 3 of my research article on transgender and intersex persons in sports has been posted on Transas City. Covering the post-Richards era to the Stockholm Consensus, this installment covers the treatment of transgender and intersex persons in sport from the 1980’s to 2004. The stories of the athletes and the discrimination they faced should touch us all, and perhaps their perseverance will give us hope at the same time.

Transphobia, Sloppy Reporting, or Both? The Life and Death of Dr. V

Hopper_BrooklynAn enormous controversy has blown up in the last few days over a story written by Caleb Hannan on a website called Grantland, titled Dr. V’s Magical Putter. The story claims to be a fact-finding hayride into the claims behind a “magical” golf putter and the personal life of its inventor, Essay Anne Vanderbilt (a/k/a “Dr. V.”). Ms. Vanderbilt was a transsexual woman, and of course once Mr. Hannan uncovered that fact, an article which is along the lines of one I would have written for the paper suddenly took a left turn at Albuquerque, and turned into a “poke and laugh at the tranny” piece. For example, from the story:

He was clearly trying to tell me something, which is why he began emphasizing certain words. Every time he said “she” or “her” I could practically see him making air quotes. Finally it hit me. Cliché or not, a chill actually ran up my spine.

“Are you trying to tell me that Essay Anne Vanderbilt was once a man?”

A chill “actually ran up (his) spine.” It makes me wonder what sort of person, deep down, Mr. Hannan is to be so titillated over the discovery that someone he is investigating might be a transsexual woman. They’re his words, I’m certain heavily reviewed and accepted, and they imply either a sexual frisson of being a repressed chaser, or else the sick thrill a blogging sociopath feels when he has an easy target in his sights.

The story is made all the more tragic by the clear desperation and breakdown of Ms. Vanderbilt as she is being harassed by Mr. Hannan, reported almost breathlessly in blow-by-blow exchanges. When we read that Ms. Vanderbilt took her life weeks after being harassed by Mr. Hannan, it’s a sad testimony to the transgender experience that we probably were not surprised at the outcome. Is Mr. Hannan responsible? Or did he merely contribute to the tragedy?

Being in the publishing business, I’ve written more than 500 published articles for actual money, and read 100 times that many. Mr. Hannan’s investigative piece had a chance to be a good article on the pseudoscience of golf fanatics and those who cater to them. In fact, I have had a piece published by the paper on that very subject. But Mr. Hannan’s article wasn’t that – it was character assassination with a science backdrop. Mr. Hannan doesn’t even have the God damned common decency to use the proper gender for pronouns, summing up his story with the following:

What began as a story about a brilliant woman with a new invention had turned into the tale of a troubled man who had invented a new life for himself. Yet the biggest question remained unanswered: Had Dr. V created a great golf club or merely a great story?

Mr. Hannan’s editor Bill Simmons published a pseudo-apology, throwing himself and his editorial staff on the sword in a somewhat disproportionate effort to try to absolve Mr. Hannan. He amusingly refers to the piece as “a well-written feature,” thus setting the stage for what follows. He makes one factual error which indicates he is scrambling to “circle the wagons.”

In the moment, we believed you couldn’t “out” someone who was already dead, especially if she was a public figure.

BZZZZT, sorry, the inventor of a golf club and owner of a tiny golf club company is not a “public figure.” A politician or political candidate is a public figure. Media stars are public figures. Here’s a clue, genius – a public figure is by definition someone who actively courts public attention via exposure through their artistic or critical work, by nature of their employment, or by public service. Ms. Vanderbilt was none of those.

The pseudo-apology is a somewhat rambling piece which I’ve seen before from editors. It’s the equivalent of an “oh shit, let’s write a wall of text to throw people off, and admit we let the writer down, but at the same time stick to our guns for our awesome fact-finding!” The problem is, the transphobia of Mr. Hannan cannot be apologized for by a third party. In fact, this part of his pseudo-apology really tells us what we need to know about Grantland.

To my infinite regret, we never asked anyone knowledgeable enough about transgender issues to help us either (a) improve the piece, or (b) realize that we shouldn’t run it. That’s our mistake — and really, my mistake, since it’s my site. So I want to apologize. I failed.

More importantly, I realized over the weekend that I didn’t know nearly enough about the transgender community – and neither does my staff.

Not sophisticated enough to know about gender policies for transgender persons? Never once thought to run it past a transgender person? There are something like 700,000 of us, and he couldn’t find a single person to ask? He seemingly wasn’t even aware that there was an “out” transsexual woman writing for Grantland? Huh?

The lesson here is to remember that what happened to Ms. Vanderbilt could happen to any transsexual woman. All it takes in today’s media is a hack blogger who hides behind the title “reporter,” an editorial staff asleep at the switch, and a website.

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes – Part 2

Richards_2
Exclusive to Transas City, an 8-part research article which attempts to settle the debate on whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete with cisgender athletes. This topic has been increasingly in the news, especially as a result of California’s recent efforts to “mainstream” transgender students, and many ardent transgender activists have struggled to factually defend our rights to compete against our own gender. My hope is that someday, folks can link to these articles to make their points.

Part 2 has now been posted, which focuses on the development of sex testing in sports, as well as the intersex women who were cruelly and unfairly targeted by the testing. The development and impact of Title IX is discussed briefly, and then the career of transwoman Renee Richards and her fight on the courts and in the Courts is covered.

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes (Page 2)

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes (Page 1)

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes – Part 1

Fox-Smith
Exclusive to Transas City, an 8-part research article which attempts to settle the debate on whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete with cisgender athletes. This topic has been increasingly in the news, especially as a result of California’s recent efforts to “mainstream” transgender students, and many ardent transgender activists have struggled to factually defend our rights to compete against our own gender. My hope is that someday, folks can link to these articles to make their points.

The article is more than 13,000 words in length with numerous citations, and walks through the history and present of transgender and intersex athletes. Discussed herein are the cruelty transgender and intersex athletes have had to endure, the flaws and follies of sex testing, medical differences and similarities between transgender and cisgender athletes, and methodical arguments that transgender athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports.

Part 1 has now been posted, which is an introduction to the topic and a review of early history. I will post the other parts every few days. I spent woman-weeks researching this subject, and I hope that it becomes of use in the transgender community worldwide.

Cross-Training – The History and Future of Transgender and Intersex Athletes (Page 1)