Thursday, April 30, 2015

BWB6: Cyd Zeigler and Christina Kahrl

I'm in Chicago for Blogs With Balls 6 and taking plenty of notes. I'll be posting my notes from each panel here for the use of anyone who wants to check them out. Keep in mind that these are highlights, not complete transcriptsu. Every effort is given to be as accurate as possible; apologies for any transcription mistakes. Here are my notes from Cyd Zeigler and Christina Kahrl's conversation about trans issues.

On trans issues in general: CZ: "People don't know anything about this."

On Bruce Jenner and his recent ABC interview: CK: "Certainly it's an opportunity."
(to talk more about trans issues).

CK wishes they'd discussed sports element more on Jenner interview
On journalists looking to cover trans people and worried about pronoun use: CK: "Trans people are used to the (pronoun) question. Just ask."

CK on her own identity: "between my ears, I always have been Christina."

Discussing Grantland's piece on Essay Anne Vanderbilt, Dr. V:
CK: "The tragedy is that Essay Anne took her own life."
"It's not the teaching moment you ask for."
"You have to talk about the mistake. You have to own it and walk it back and see where you went wrong."
What you do with people is give them the opportunity." (and work to help before things go wrong)

ESPN is doing a panel for its own journalists this summer in Bristol with trans athletes and coaches. CK: "It's 'Here's how to do this right.'"

SI's Robert Klemko asked a question about trans athletes looking to compete in women's sports, especially in high school.
CK: "It's a copout to say its not safe."
 On hormone blockers "it's not a competitive advantage."
NCAA, IOC policies are positive
CZ noted that everyone has an advantage of some sort, so lines drawn against trans athletes are arbitrary. "Shaquille O'Neal has an unfair advantage against me." "Everyone has an advantage."

Christina was asked if she's faced challenges either at ESPN or in baseball thanks to her identity.
CK: "I havent found much discrimination." "I'm just another asshole with a microphone."
"ESPN has been a model workplace where no one has even misgendered me in terms of pronouns."

CK on why players respect her: "I'm not there to talk trans issues, I'm there to talk baseball."

CK said her decision to come out wasn't "brave": "I'm just exhausted with the fear of not being myself." "Given a choice between guaranteed unhappiness and the unknown, I'm choosing the unknown."

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