Dawn Ennis says farewell to Outsports, pursues masters degree


It’s never easy to say goodbye, but I actually feel this letter to you, our readers, is without doubt the least difficult thing I’ve ever written for Outsports.

Valentine’s Day 2021 was my second anniversary leading this wonderful team, and now with Pride right around the corner, I am setting off on two new adventures that will take the place of the many hours I’ve worked each day, seven days a week, telling stories, breaking news and recording and managing our six podcasts about LGBTQ sports, athletes, fans and other folks in the wide world of sports.

I started grad school today at the University of Hartford, where I have been teaching journalism, advertising, public relations, news reporting, media literacy, podcasting and sports journalism since 2019. I am pursuing a master’s degree in journalism.

Also, this morning I accepted an invitation from Forbes.com to write a column for its daily Diversity Equality and Inclusion newsletter, in addition to my posts about LGBTQ issues, which I have been contributing for more than two years. That’s on top of my six other jobs: my aforementioned work as a part-time faculty professor, writing for the Los Angeles Blade, The Daily Beast, StarTrek.com, GLAAD, Connecticut Voice Magazine, reporting for the CT Voice OutLoud TV magazine show and continuing to host my own talk show, RiseUP With Dawn Ennis. Whew!

While I will miss my daily contacts with the incredible people I hired — Ken Schultz, Brian Bell, Karleigh Webb, Shelby Weldon, Alex Reimer and also our former colleagues Haley Videckis and Daniel Villarreal, I am fortunate that like you I can still read their amazing stories. I count them all as friends and true trans allies. Most of all, I am hopeful my friend, contributor and cohost Karleigh Webb will continue to tell inspiring stories through her words at Outsports, and using her powerful voice on the Outsports podcast, The Trans Sporter Room.

It seems like forever ago that cofounders Jim Buzinski and Cyd Zeigler recruited me for this position. Vox Media and SB Nation took a risk in hiring the first out transgender editor at Outsports. In their continuing role as staff employees, I am sure they will continue to show the world that Courage Is Contagious. I’ve said many times I don’t know of anyone who’s a better cisgender ally to the transgender community than Cyd, and there is no one I would trust more to share a Coming Out story than our Jim Buzinski. I am better for having known them, and wish them every success going forward.

The only folks I won’t miss are the transphobic trolls who made running our social media platforms a living nightmare. In case you’re thinking my departure changes anything, think again: Outsports stands for the inclusion of everyone, in particular transgender athletes. And I believe it always will be, even though there are a variety of paths toward that goal.

What matters now is not my place in that conversation, but that everyone reading this recognizes trans girls are girls. Trans boys are boys. Trans men are men. And I hold my head up high as I declare one last time here: Trans women are women.

To quote three of the greatest signoffs in the history of signoffs: Thank you for the privilege of your time. May your news be good news. And, I’ll see you around the interwebs!

In solidarity,

Dawn Ennis



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