"For 13 years I have written under a different name"
August 16, 2019 7:23 AM   Subscribe

"As listeners to the Football Weekly podcast already know, I’m a laugher not a fighter. I would much prefer not to be writing this and to exist in a world where my transition did not require any comment. But since we do not yet live in that world, here I am. All I ask is for respect and kindness – for me and for transgender people in general – at a time when those commodities seem to be in ever‑shorter supply." Guardian football (soccer) journalist Nicky Bandini comes out as transgender and the reaction in both the comment section and on Twitter is an "outpouring of love".
posted by bitteschoen (10 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Meanwhile, two trans employees have resigned from the Guardian over the paper's UK operation being a wretched hive of TERFery.
posted by acb at 7:44 AM on August 16, 2019 [18 favorites]

For once, the usual caveat does not apply. Read the comments. My favorite comes from "AdamCMelb":
I know practically nothing about soccer - yes that is what we call it in Australia. So I will use and misuse a number of other sporting terms instead. (I do not know much about other sports, either.)

Nicky, this article is a hole in one. You won the penant. You hit it out of the park, scored a hat trick and hit it for six. (All at once!) You got a perfect ten, won by five lengths, made a grand slam and, definitely, achieved a personal best!

I loved this article! Best of luck to you!
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:51 AM on August 16, 2019 [11 favorites]

I read this last night and was very happy that the comments were so positive. The Guardian's soccer comments section is pretty good in general, people will have their hobbyhorses but they're more to do with team rivalries than things in the wider world, but there's always the worry that jerks from the wider internet might find out about the article and come just to spew hate.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:40 PM on August 16, 2019 [1 favorite]

They're moderating the comments. That's me making a statement about insulation from the wider internet, rather than a statement about the general Guardian football commenting population.
posted by hoyland at 5:17 PM on August 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

They always moderate comments though. Still, there are 579 comments from people congratulating her and wishing her well, it’s something. Even most of the replies on unmoderated* twitter are well-wishers. (*Yes I know you can report offensive tweets but it takes a while to get them deleted and the twitter moderation policies are not so strict in the first place).

There were some making jokes in a nice way too:
Dear Nicky
You always used to slightly piss me off the way you suddenly go all Italian pronunciation half- way though a sentence whenever you named an Italian player or team. My fault I know, and I'd just like to say,
As Nicky, I'm sure you will continue to piss me off with the same pronunciation as you did with Paulo, gender should have no barriers. I wish you happiness always, but it's Roma, not Rrrroma!
"plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

I always used to get you mixed up with James Horncastle. Not any more!
Good luck and hats off to your bravery.

–– It is actually harder now as they both have long hair now.

Good on you. Brilliant. It challenges the perceptions we have when in my mind's eye a certain 'Paolo Bandini' covering football had to be an anorak-wearing, chain-smoking, bald and bespectacled Italian, gruff but with a heart of gold.
At least the last part rings true!
posted by bitteschoen at 2:34 AM on August 17, 2019

Sorry, I should have said "pre-moderated"--they're looking at comments before they post.
posted by hoyland at 4:00 AM on August 17, 2019

Yes indeed, they do that pre-moderation for a lot of different stuff on the Guardian, and this one for more obvious reasons than others, to keep the trolls and haters away. Moderation is a form of insulation, I don’t disagree there, but for good reasons, no?

It’s still nice to see so many people posting just to congratulate the author. Premoderation alone doesn’t explain so many comments of just that. Bandini is known and appreciated as an expert on Italian football and has a lot of followers, clearly.
posted by bitteschoen at 4:20 AM on August 17, 2019

I'm not making a statement about the choice to moderate or the reception of the article (which, honestly, is a little uncomfortable for me--my most 'successful' coming out was to my PhD advisor where I said "I'm trans, please use X pronouns" and he said "I can do that"--I didn't want congratulating, but people are all different.*) Rather, I was responding to any portmanteau in a storm's worry that "that jerks from the wider internet might find out about the article and come just to spew hate".

*But for the love of god, say something, so if all you've got is "Congratulations" so be it. Someone in a position of power simply ignored a coming out email I sent at a time when I really needed acknowledgement to be able to push ahead.
posted by hoyland at 5:32 AM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm ok with premoderation if it keeps those comments from getting posted.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:41 PM on August 17, 2019

There’s a nice little example of how even well-intentioned but insensitive comments can get corrected by others in the replies below this tweet
posted by bitteschoen at 8:31 AM on August 18, 2019

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