This year’s edition of the feature writing anthology The Best American Sport Writing is out now. When I flipped to the back I saw a nice surprise: my story on transgender powerlifter Janae Kroczaleski was named to the list of notable pieces of sports writing of the year. I’m very happy to see Janae’s story get some more attention, especially from an institution that is very selective. There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to Janae for having the guts to share her story, sparing no details. It’s easy to write a story like this when you’ve got a subject who has the kind of courage that Janae does-the kind of courage that most of us don’t need to get through day to day life.
At the end of a story like this, the writer gets to walk away. Janae will live with the curious or scornful looks of strangers-and sometimes much worse-for the rest of her life. To Janae: Getting to know you better in the process of writing this story was a true honor. Your sons are lucky that they have you to look up to. You’ve inspired me-and hopefully many others-to be more empathetic as we go about this world. Thank you for being you-and for showing what real toughness is to an audience who really needed to see it.