Thanks to last year’s explosion of LGBT athletes coming out of the closet, trans athletes and celebrities have been making front-page news with their personal stories of transitioning and thriving in their fields. But sometimes opening the door in their private lives — or rather having the doors swung open on them — has left some trans celebrities in emotional ruin. And in a new interview with the Huffington Post, trans athlete Kyle Allums reveals how he nearly committed suicide after ESPN did a profile of his life.
The controversial topic came about after an explosive article published by Grantland last week seemingly led to the suicide of a trans woman. The piece was originally intended to examine the “scientifically superior” new golf clubs designed by Essay Anne Vanderbilt. However, the piece turned into an investigation into her trans identity and she committed suicide while the article’s author, Caleb Hannan, was still doing research for the story.
Since then, the publication has been suffering a major backlash from fans and LGBT activists and Grantland Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons recently decided to pen a letter responding to the controversy.
In a recent segment of HuffPost Live, Allums, a prominent trans athlete and advocate, spoke about his own experience being profiled by ESPN and explained that he contemplated suicide after the revealing story was released.
“Suicide is so prevalent in the trans community,” said Allums, who also experienced problematic reporting from ESPN about his identity. “Forty-one percent of people in the trans community have attempted suicide — I was one of them. That was all because of someone who didn’t take the time to listen to what I said — who didn’t care, who didn’t value me as a person and who just saw me as, ‘Oh, you’re just this story.’ ”
Hopefully, news sources around the globe will learn from this tragic incident to be more understanding and aware of the many issues plaguing the trans community and handle their stories about trans people with more care.
Check out some more transgender celebrities who were involved in controversy recently. –nicholas robinson