Kahrl: Finding common ground in baseball

From SABR member Christina Kahrl at University of Chicago Magazine on January 16, 2015:

Oh God, it must be awful. How do you do it?” For years that has been the too-frequent response, offered with empathy, when people learn about my day job—writing and editing stories about baseball and venturing into dugouts and locker rooms to interview big leaguers.

If you knew me in college, you know it’s my dream job. Back then, the time I spent ditching class and not giving Antonio Gramsci my full attention was spent reading Bill James’s Baseball Abstracts and trekking with my fellow self-liberated miscreants to buy $1 seats at Comiskey Park. This set me down the path toward eventually getting into the game by helping cofound Baseball Prospectus back in 1996, in the go-go days of the internet. To this day, BP is a combination of think tank, annual book, and analytical website that’s given rise to dozens of careers in baseball front offices and the media.

But the thing is, if you knew me then you might not recognize me now. I started coming out as a transsexual woman in 2002–03, finally acting on something I’d sorted out for myself once my fifth-grade health textbook explained gender dimorphism and made it abundantly clear that I had been somehow dropped into the wrong bin.

Hence the worried comments and questions. This oft-voiced concern about my life in sports usually comes from friends who are gay, lesbian, or trans. They expect that the sports world must be one of the worst places possible for a person to publicly come to terms with being gender variant in any way, shape, or form. However thoughtful these worries, my time in the game has proven them to be spectacularly misplaced.

Read the full article here: http://mag.uchicago.edu/law-policy-society/common-ground

Originally published: January 19, 2015. Last Updated: January 19, 2015.