I got to meet sportswriter Christina Kahrl this week as she was in town for the All-Star Game. She's a lovely woman, soft-spoken with a mind wrapped around baseball. Her presence dominates a room when she walks in. Her knowledge of baseball is incredible, and it was enlightening to talk with her about George Steinbrenner and the trades that happened around the All-Star Game. It's easy to tell why she's been so successful with Baseball Prospectus.
She made an insightful observation about her impact on trans visibility in the sport. She said writers keep getting "stolen" from Baseball Prospectus by teams looking for good stats people; Former BP writers are now at various teams around the league.
"Every time one of them gets hired, that's another person now working at a Major League Baseball team who has worked with a trans person," she said.
Just by being herself, she is making change in pro sports.
Ross Forman also caught up with Kahrl recently and did a nice update on the Chicagoan for the Windy City Times.
"I consider myself immensely fortunate because of the women who did have the courage to come out [ before me, ] " Kahrl said. "They made life so much easier for people such as me who transitioned [ after them. ] Sure, the challenges are still there, but there is so much more knowledge.
"The trans community is so much more part of the public dialogue today than it was years ago. It is so much easier to come out today in the transgender community than it was in the '60s, '70s and '80s. I can only imagine what they had to go through.
"My baseball work now … I'm just going there to do the job. The fact that I am transgender is no different from, say, the blind sportswriter who is at the park all of the time. It's interesting on an abstract level, but not really relevant to how well I write a game story or just cover baseball as a whole."