Radical Radiance: Lana Lawless

lawlessI am proud to name Lana Lawless, Women’s World Champion in the 2008 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship, as this week’s beauty. Not only is Lana a talented golfer, she is also a true individual – someone who is completely unafraid to stand up and show the world who she is without apology. Lana is a transgendered person, a woman born into the body of a man. She explains herself quite profoundly in the article, saying that “This is who I am. This is my life, that other person, that 245-pound SWAT cop I used to be, he’s gone. He’s not coming back.” I am in awe of the eloquent and decisive way in which she summed herself up; Lana truly knows how to handle an interview and make her point known.

I would like to use this space to applaud Lana for being herself in a world that can sometimes be less than accepting of people who choose to be different. I would also like to take this opportunity to condemn Fox News for their journalistic portrayal of this fantastic woman. I find it ridiculous that Lana should have to justify her presence in the women’s league – arguments made about physical differences between men and women making her presence unfair just reek of closed-mindedness to me. After all, people are all built differently – no sporting event going to be perfectly physically matched. Plus, I can guarantee you that these dissenters would have been just as agitated if she had been slated to compete against men. Not to mention that fact that required hormone-testing before the competition reported that her transition had successfully left her with normal female hormone levels – basically, the article itself admits that testing showed her to be physically the same as any other woman competing.  (I must commend RE/MAX for being decent people and permitting her the same rights to compete as any other woman – huge amounts of respect for the organizers of this competition!)

Beyond the article’s unnecessary focus on the ethics of Lana’s presence in the competition (how is this even a question?) it also portrayed her in a highly sexist manner – its almost as if the author needed to include as many female stereotypes as possible in order to feel comfortable with the subject matter – god forbid he portray her in a dignified and serious manner.

However, it simply amazed me how Lana’s words rang so clearly through the bullshit write up. Every quote that was attributed directly to her managed to paint a picture of a confident, compassionate and radiant human being – someone who was not afraid to live her life to the fullest regardless of what others might think of her. I have included a sampling of these quotes below in order to save my readers the trouble of shifting through Fox’s misogynistic crap…

“I had a hard exterior, but I was compassionate inside.”

“I was hiding in the straight world,” she said, “but Lana was always in there, and I wanted her to live. I had started to go to L.A. to the clubs, playing dress-up on the weekends, but I wanted to be a normal girl.”

“I’ve had mothers stop and point me out to their children. That’s cruel, but I’ve learned to deal with it.”

“In Palm Springs,” she said, “I’m like celebrity central. Hey, I carry myself well, I’m well-spoken, I’m funny as hell. I fit in with a world that is expanding its acceptance.”

Some digging also led me to an email Lana sent to another misogynistic news source (the aptly named machochip.com)

Like it or not I am legally a female and the USGA said I can compete in the women’s division because I am a woman……. period don’t you think just maybe the USGA did a little more research on the subject than you or any of your readers…please get educated before you run off at the mouth.”

Thank you Lana for standing tall as a radiant example of individuality and a strong sense of personal identity. You truly are an inspiration to all of the men and women in this world who struggle to be accepted for the people that they are.

[I looked for contact information for Lana but unfortunately could not find much about her beyond horribly closed-minded coverage of her brilliant golfing victory. If Lana happens do see this, or if someone out there has more information I’d love to be contacted so I can make this article more comprehensive.]

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As a side note: the last line of this Fox article literally makes me want to puke,

“As a sensitive women, Lawless knows what it’s like to lose. After falling 1 yard short in the 2007 semifinals and being eliminated, she had cried.

Cried herself a river, just like the girl she always wanted to be.

Because only girls cry of course, and in order to be a true girl you have to cry. Do me a favor? Join me in dropping James Achenbach (jachenbach@golfweek.com) a little note to let him know that this kind of treatment of transgendered people and women in general is not not not acceptable in this century.

3 thoughts on “Radical Radiance: Lana Lawless

  1. Thanks for making Lana look like the kind hearted person that she is. I’ve known her for several years, and it discuss me to think in this day and age people still feel this way. WOW scary, I wonder if these people know we in our beautiful, diverse country just elected a black President. Leave it to a man (Achenback) to try and knock women back what we fought hard for so many years, I wonder if he is bothered by the fact a woman is more man than he’ll ever be.

  2. Thank you both for the positive feedback :)

    Angela, I agree – not cool at all. Just really pathetic, actually. Achenback must not know very many women.

    Tina, I only wish the media had published a fairer picture of her – it wasn’t easy to find a fair portrayal of her out there! Luckily her interview quotes were so well-said they stood up on their own. I’m sure you’re right about Achenback – it seems to me that people who write or say things like that are always out to prove something about themselves. After all, he’s no better than any middle school bully – except for the fact that someone has foolishly decided to publish him.

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