ESPN

An ESPN reporter of more than two decades made the courageous decision to come out as transgender this week, citing gratitude for societal change.

On Tuesday, the veteran journalist announced a transition from female to male, along with a new name, M.A. Voepel.

“In sports media, we’re lucky to tell stories of others’ journeys. We have our own, too. Part of mine is being transgender, and I’m transitioning to male,” Voepel tweeted. “Byline now M.A. Voepel, pronouns he/him. Please feel free to call me Voepel, MV, Michael, Mike; I’m good with them all.”

Voepel decided to come out as transgender prior to receiving The Curt Gowdy Media Award next month, an annual honor presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to outstanding basketball writers and broadcasters. Having been one of ESPN’s premier journalists on women’s basketball at the college and professional level, Voepel will receive the print version of the Gowdy Award.

“I have the great honor of receiving Gowdy Award next month from Naismith Hall of Fame, and wanted to do that as authentic self, hence this announcement now,” Voepel shared on Twitter. “Fear can keep us paralyzed for decades, especially when we think we will lose all that is dear to us, including career.”

The announcement was met with a tremendous display of appreciation and support from Voepel’s colleagues and the entire sports world.

[M.A. Voepel]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com