Dr. V, Caleb Hannan, and Grantland

Hi — thank you for opening this and reading more about this horrible set of events. As it involves the life and experiences of a trans woman, which I am not, I ask that you read the voices of trans women writing about Dr. V before reading mine. (Or just their voices, if you have limited time.) They are very often written about, and not listened to, and it’s important to change that. Thanks.

Also, as the situation involves a reporter posthumously outing his subject as trans after her suicide, please consider this post and all of the links herein to have content warnings for suicide, transmisogyny, transphobia, and outing.

I’m adding new pieces as I find them, but please feel encouraged to send them to me to accelerate: @handler on Twitter, michael/at\grendel/dot\net via email, or contact via Tumblr. Thanks. -mh

Dear Caleb Hannan & the editors of Grantland:

I’m not a habitual reader of Grantland, because I’m not much into the work-a-day issues and discussions of the sports world. I do love long-form journalism about specific people, and culture, and pop culture issues, and the works that I’ve read on Grantland have been satisfying enough that I kept on wondering why I wasn’t making it part of my regular reading rounds. The other week, I stumbled across Chuck Klosterman’s article about Royce White and mental health, and I shared it with my SO, and she shared it with her family, and we had a deep and connecting discussion about it which I am still appreciating.

Despite my lack of regular connection to Grantland, I am compelled to write in to you about Caleb Hannan’s article about Dr. V, which I read today, mostly in openmouthed disgust, and with increasing horror as it built to its conclusion.

There’s no question that the design, origin, and performance of a new golf club of mysterious provenance, from outside the historical establishment of equipment design, is a compelling and interesting story on many levels. There’s no question that the behavior and history of an erratic and inconsistent inventor, whose claimed superlative credentials persistently cannot be verified, is also compelling and relevant to the narrative.

There’s also no question that the way that Dr. V’s existence as a trans woman was researched, outed, and used in the narrative of the story was monstrous, stereotypical, transphobic, hurtful, and wrong.

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My niece Julia arrived a week or so late, and only after I had finished the pattern for this. I’m not sure that was a co-incidence. (Sorry, Lyndsay!) It took me three more months to frame it and give it to them, but it did happen before they went back to Kenya, so: Mission Accomplished!

(Pattern is from subversivecrossstitch.com, of course.)

My niece Julia arrived a week or so late, and only after I had finished the pattern for this. I’m not sure that was a co-incidence. (Sorry, Lyndsay!) It took me three more months to frame it and give it to them, but it did happen before they went back to Kenya, so: Mission Accomplished!

(Pattern is from subversivecrossstitch.com, of course.)

I remember J.D.

I remember J.D. Falk.

I guess I’m in what I think of as the middle range of the people who knew him: not from his childhood or adolescence or time in school, but several years before he pointed the compass of his life West, to California and the ocean beyond. I don’t remember the first time I became aware of him, nor have I yet been able to summon up the emotional footing to go rooting through old mail and USENET archives to attempt to triangulate just when that might have been. But I definitely know where I was in my life when he became my friend.

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