A transgender woman featured in a
Grantland.com profile committed suicide in October after learning
that its author intended to out her in the piece.
Essay Anne Vanderbilt, also known as
Dr. V, was profiled in a story titled Dr.
V's Magical Putter.
In the 8,000-word story, Caleb Hannan
describes how he shifted the focus of his story from the
“scientifically superior” Yar golf putter to its inventor, Dr. V.
In early correspondence with Hannan,
Dr. V gave her approval to the story so long as it focused on the
science behind her putter, not the scientist.
Along the way, Hannan discovers that
Dr. V was born a man and had falsified elements from her past.
“What began as a story about a
brilliant woman with a new invention had turned into the tale of a
troubled man who had invented a new life for himself,” Hannan
Soon after Hannan informed Dr. V and
her partner, Gerri Jordan, of his discovery, Dr. V committed suicide.
“When Jordan arrived and reacher her
bedroom, she found Dr. V lying on the floor curled in a fetal
position with a white plastic bag over her head; an empty bottle of
pills sat on the kitchen counter.”
GLAAD criticized the story's January
15, 2014 publication, saying “it is never appropriate to out a
transgender person” and labeling
the article as “problematic.”
On Monday, Grantland published a story
“When you're a writer, you want
something you create to have a long life, to be something that
readers will remember and revisit for years to come,” Christina
Kahrl wrote in What
Grantland Got Wrong. “If such was Caleb Hannan's wish,
it's been granted, because his essay on Dr. V and The Magical
Putter figures to be a permanent exhibit of what not to do, and
how not to treat a fellow human being.”