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The T-Word

Media depictions of trans culture seem more prevalent than ever, but off-key representations sensationalize and injure their subjects. It’s time to change that. Five transgender people discuss how.

In January of this year, Grantland published “Dr. V.’s Magical Putter,” an article ostensibly about a “scientifically superior” golf club invented by Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt. While researching the piece, the writer Caleb Hannan discovered Vanderbilt was a transgender woman, and decided to turn her heretofore secret identity into a central aspect of the story. Shortly after learning of Hannan’s intent, Vanderbilt committed suicide. Following the article’s publication, critics from both the LGBT and cisgender communities condemned Hannan and Grantland for their unacknowledged role in Vanderbilt’s death, as well as for perpetuating negative stereotypes of trans people. Grantland responded with sincere attempts to address their mistake: five days after the article’s publication, they simultaneously released a frank letter from editor-in-chief Bill Simmons and an editorial by ESPN writer and transgender woman Christina Kahrl. Grantland’s attempts to engage, however they were received, helped jumpstart the ongoing conversation about media portrayals of trans... Continue Reading

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Today’s Headlines

Oct 29
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